Chandler savors victory with Mercer County crowd

November 03, 2004|ANN R. HARNEY

HARRODSBURG - When Democrat Ben Chandler arrived to a standing ovation of Mercer Countians Tuesday night, he did it as the victor in his race for Kentucky's 6th District of the U.S. House of Representatives.

It was a much happier Chandler than it was a year ago. "I was giving a concession speech a year ago," he said of his loss to Republican Ernie Fletcher in their race for governor. It had been an unpleasant ending to a hard-fought race.

Just last February, Chandler won a special election to fill out Fletcher's term in the House.

Tuesday night, he called it a victory "heard all across the country" and predicted Tuesday's vote would surpass the margin of the February race.

He thanked all of his friends in Mercer County and said he has friends here that go back before he was born, friends of his grandfather's, Kentucky's A.B. "Happy" Chandler. He said he will remember the trust given to him and, "I mean to take it very seriously."


"Let me know when I need to be in Mercer County," he told the crowd. "Let me know when you need your congressman in Mercer County."

He ended his acceptance speech, saying, "My heart is full tonight."

Chandler took off his coat and loosened his tie to enjoy the cake that supporters had provided for him.

Chandler defeated his opponent, state Sen. Tom Buford, taking 53 percent of the vote in Mercer County to 45 percent, with a vote total of 4,982 to 4,238. Candidates from the Constitution and Libertarian parties garnered less than 1 percent of the Mercer County vote.

In the race for president, Republican President George W. Bush won 6,745 votes or 67 percent of the votes cast to 3,223 or 31 percent for Sen. John Kerry. Again, candidates from the Constitution and Libertarian parties and Independent Ralph Nader garnered less than 1 percent from Mercer voters.

In the race for U.S. Senate, incumbent Jim Bunning, a Republican, won in Mercer County over challenger Daniel Mongiardo 5,019 to 4,534.

In the question about amending the state constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman, Mercer countians voted yes by just under 81 percent; almost 20 percent voted no.

Turnout in Mercer County was 66 percent.

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