New faces chosen in Aug. 2 election
Posted: Thursday, August 9, 2012 9:30 am
Rep. Andy Holt goes over the first set of results with Joe David Laws Thursday night after the polls closed.
The battle lines have been drawn for the November election, thanks to results claimed by candidates Thursday when voters across the state were asked to cast their ballots.
Weakley County voters boasted its usual turnout of only about 10 percent of registered voters heading out the polls that day.
They were asked to pick a Republican candidate in the 24th Senatorial District race, while others were asked to select a District 1 county commissioner and specific school board members.
Brad Thompson, an Obion County native ran unopposed on the Democratic ticket for the 24th Senatorial District slot.
He will now face Huntingdon attorney John Stevens after he was favored by district-wide Republicans. Stevens earned 5,418 votes across the district, with 750 of those cast in Weakley County.
His opponent, Obion County Commissioner Danny Jowers earned 3,475 votes district-wide, with 406 of those cast in Weakley County.
Thompson secured 4,035 complimentary votes in the district, with 593 votes carried in Weakley County.
With the Democratic and Republican candidates vying for the seat being left vacant by Dresden Democrat and State Sen. Roy Herron, Thompson and Stevens are gearing up for their campaigns.
“I’m not a politician; I’m an advocate,” Thompson said. “One of the first things I’ll work on when I’m in the Senate is lowering the sales tax on food. It is unreasonable to me that Tennessee ranks the highest in the nation for combined state and local sales tax, and we’re sitting on a surplus of over half a billion dollars. That means we can give real relief to our families at the grocery checkout line. It’s time we do it, and I’ll put the politics aside to get the job done.”
Tennessee ranks first in combined state and local sales tax rate at an average of 9.43 percent, according to the Tax Foundation. In the 24th District, all rates are 9.75 percent because of local options of 2.75 percent, except for Henry County with a local option of 2.25 percent, according to Thompson’s campaign.
“We should also use part of this surplus to freeze soaring tuition costs,” Thompson said. “UT Martin’s tuition is going up 6 percent because politicians in Nashville don’t have the political will to keep that from happening. That’s an unnecessary tax on our college students and families, and we have more than enough in the surplus to freeze tuition.”
Stevens thanked the voters of District 24 “for their overwhelming support” in a post to his Facebook campaign page a few hours ago.
“As a first time candidate, it is truly humbling to receive the shows of support at polling stations, on Facebook, via text, email and telephone. We now need greater participation in the most important election of our lifetime,” Stevens told supporters.
Voters will see a familiar ballot in November when they see Republican and incumbent Andy Holt of Dresden vying for the against Democrat Mark Maddox of Dresden. Maddox held the seat prior to Holt’s election in 2010.
Both candidates faced no opposition on the ballot last week. Holt earned 1,125 courtesy votes, while Maddox took 713 courtesy votes in Weakley County.
Holt had a total of 2,235 votes across the district, while Maddox had 1,432 votes cast in his favor in the district.
In local races, Gath Meeks retained his District 1 school board seat with 331 votes. John Liggett took 180 votes for the District 3 school board seat. Kim Longacre earned 139 votes to take the District 5 school board slot.
Doug Sims was re-elected to his post as school board member for District 7 with 157 votes and Sarah Ann Pentecost also retained her school board seat in District 9 with 221 votes.
The District 1 county commission seat saw some contention with four candidates vying for the position.
James Bynum retained the seat with 160 votes, while Joe David Laws followed closely with 121 votes in his favor.
Bobby Dunlap earned 88 votes and Michael J. Simmons took 49 votes in District 1.
David Tuck retained his assessor of property for another four years with 1,559 complimentary votes cast in his favor.
In Weakley County, U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher took 1,104 votes, while his opponent Annette Justice had 107 votes. Fincher had 60,334 votes cast in his favor across the district, while Ms. Justice took 9,282 votes.
Fincher will face Democrat Timothy Dixon in November. Dixon had 6,948 votes district-wide, with 137 votes in Weakley County.
U.S. Sen. Bob Corker secured 968 votes in Weakley County; 388,781 votes across the state.
He will face Democratic challenger Mark Clayton, who earned 178 votes in Weakley County and 48,066 votes across the state.
Of the 20,738 voters registered in Weakley County, only 2,070 showed up at the polls for the August County General and State and Federal Primaries.
There were 1,266 Republican ballots cast in Weakley County and 789 Democratic votes cast last week.
Fifteen ballots were non-partisan. The next election is Nov. 6.