Casey elects two new members to school board

November 03, 2004|BRENDA S. EDWARDS

LIBERTY - Casey County Board of Education will have two new members, and all Liberty City Council members retained their seats in Tuesday's election.

As usual, the county voted heavily Republican, and a record number of people turned out to vote in most precincts, according to County Clerk Eva S. Miller. She attributed the large turnout to three facets - school board and presidential races and the constitutional amendment.

There were 6,503 votes from 10,669 registered voters cast Tuesday, and 351 absentee votes, including seven people in the military and 261 on the voting machine at the courthouse.

"We've heard it said all day long that 'We've never voted before, but we're voting today,'" Miller said during a break in the vote counting.


All 15 precincts reported in by 6:55 p.m., and the votes were counted shortly thereafter. Several voters attempted to vote for a 1st District constable but failed to write in the name. The seat remains vacant. One write-in vote was cast in the presidential race, but the name was not eligible.

Several other write-ins were cast, but none was legal nor were three provisional ballots because two of the voters live in Lincoln County and the other one is not registered, according to election officers.

The Brush Creek precinct had a minor delay when a power outage shut down a machine for about five minutes, according to Miller.

New Board of Education members John Cox in the 1st District and Kenneth Coffman in the 4th District won in their first ever political races. Cox, a farmer in northern Casey County, won over Sheila Elliott, a teacher, by 157 votes. Coffman, a technician at Bob Allen Motors, of Middleburg, beat incumbent Gale Durham by 269 votes.

Donald Sweeney, who served on the board for 20 years, did not seek re-election in the 1st District.

Cox attributed his win to knocking on doors the final three weeks before the election. As a father of sixth-grader, Justin, and a high school junior, Tyler, Cox said he is not for consolidating the three remaining elementary schools in the county because he thinks smaller schools are better for younger children.

"But if the schools are consolidated, I will work for the best location for the school," he said.

Coffman has served on the Middleburg Elementary School council, and his daughter, Sarah, is a fourth-grader at Middleburg.

"I look forward to the opening of the new elementary school (Jones Park Elementary). We've needed a new school for years. I know it was a hard decision to close the old school, and I know there will many more hard decisions to make," Coffman said.

Incumbent school board member Dinah Burton ran a close race in the 5th District with her opponent, Stacy Hines Woodrum, who was in her first political race. Burton, a registered nurse, won by only 23 votes.

City Council remains the same

City Council members will remain the same. Joey Tucker, who sought a seat on the council two years ago, lost to the incumbents. He had 347 votes.

Former police chief Larry Bowmer captured the most votes with 539. The other candidates and votes, are: James Ellison, 460; Brian K. Beeler, 456; Barry Davis, 453; Brad Vaughn, 448; and Earl "Monk" Wilson, 405.

The constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage got 5,112 "yes" votes and 642 "no" votes

Other candidates and number of votes are: President - Republican, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, 5,109; Democrat, John F. Kerry and John Edwards, 1,174; Constitutional, Michael Peroutka and Chuck Baldwin, 6; Independent, Ralph Nader and Peter Camejo, 22; and Libertarian, Michael Badnark and Richard Campagna, 10.

U.S. senator, Republican incumbent, Jim Bunning, 4,483; and Democrat, Daniel Mongiardo, 1,476. U.S. representative for 1st District, Republican incumbent, Edward Whitfield, 4,347; and Democrat Billy Cartwright, 974. State senator, incumbent Vernie McGaha, 4,649 with no opposition. State representative in 24th District, incumbent Jimmy Higdon, 4,649 with no opposition. Judge of Court of Appeals in 3rd District, 2nd Division, Michael Henry, 2,582; and Roderick Messer, 1,016.

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