Voter turnout exceeds expectations in Lewis County

2010-11-02T22:15:00Z 2010-11-02T23:43:55Z Voter turnout exceeds expectations in Lewis CountyBy MISTY MAYNARD, Staff Writer Ledger Independent
November 02, 2010 10:15 pm  • 

VANCEBURG -- More voters showed up at the polls than expected in Lewis County, and those voters had a distinct message for their political leaders: change.

Lewis County Clerk Glenda Himes said 41 percent of voters came out to the polls.

When current Judge-Executive Steve Applegate was edged out in the primary elections, the county was guaranteed a new judge-executive beginning in 2011. With nearly 75 percent of the vote, Republican Thomas Massie defeated Democrat Anita Gilbert for the seat.

Massie noted that although they had no opposition in the general election, he will join other new faces in county seats in January, including Sheriff-elect Johnny Bivens and Jailer-elect Chris McCane.

In Vanceburg, residents will have a new mayor with Todd Ruckel ousting incumbent Angie Patton. Ruckel grabbed 70 percent of the votes, surprising and disappointing Patton.

"I worked very hard for four years and I'm very proud of what I've done in my term," Patton said. "I am surprised I did not get the support for the job I've done."

Patton said she has brought more than $1.2 million in grant money to the city during her tenure and has left the city in better fiscal condition than it has been in more than 20 years. She said she increased revenue without increasing taxes.

Patton also touted her 15 years service in city government, including 11 years on council and her term as mayor. She does not intend to run for office again.

"I appreciate the people's support that did give me support," she said.

Ruckel said residents of Vanceburg want to see a difference when it comes to the faces representing them and the actions done on their behalf. Ruckel said the vote was a reflection of residents desire to see their leaders take a more active role in moving the city forward.

Ruckel said small changes can be made to make the city more attractive to businesses. He also hopes to focus more on the children and providing them options for activities to keep them from getting into trouble with drugs and other illegal activities.

With Lewis County and Vanceburg's current poor cell reception, Ruckel said he hopes to encourage cell providers to locate more towers in the area to benefit both personal and business communication.

Vanceburg residents will also see some new faces on Vanceburg City Council. Candidates Shannon Gilbert, Edward Taylor and Dorcas Gilbert failed to rally the votes need to secure a seat. Voted into council seats were: Karen Fraley, Denver Moore, Matt Jarrells, Shane Hull, Charles Hall and Joni Pugh.

Change is a mantra Massie said he avoided during his campaign until so many people began using it in conversation with him.

"I realized that's what people want," he said. "People in Lewis County really are ready for change."

Massie said he ran his campaign based on principles, not promises. Among those principles: honesty, transparency and hard work.

Massie has a goal of making Lewis County one of the least taxed, least regulated counties in the northeast region of Kentucky.

Additionally, Massie said he would like to use the people and resources of Lewis County in the county, rather than sending them outside the county to work.

"I would like to create a Lewis County where people don't have to leave," he said.

Contrary to what many politicians say, Massie said government cannot create jobs.

"What we can do though is create an environment where businesses can flourish and businesses are what create jobs," he said.

Massie said the county is, fiscally, in a tight spot with the damage from floods and storms and the economy.

"I think we can overcome that, it's just going to take some time," he said.

Also on the county level, Republican candidate for magistrate of the 2nd District, Paul Bruce Swearingen. Swearingen defeated Democrat Danny McCane by just 34 votes.

Ben Harrison, chair of the Lewis County Republican Party, said he was proud of the Republican candidates in Lewis County.

"We're thrilled to death over here with the results," he said -- and looking forward to January when the newly elected officials will be sworn into office.

Complete results for Lewis County are:

United States Senator: Rand Paul, 2,436; Jack Conway, 1,080.

United States Representative for 4th Congressional District: Geoff Davis, 2,646; John Waltz, 768.

State Senator of the 18th District: Jack Ditty, 1,928; Robin Webb, 1,704.

State Representative for the 96th District: Jill York, 2,649; David Hayes, 821.

Property Valuation Administrator: Anthony W. Silvey, 2,887.

County Judge-Executive: Thomas H. Massie, 2,691; Anita M. Gilbert, 936.

County Attorney: Thomas M. Bertram, 2,919.

County Clerk: Glenda K. Himes, 3,017.

Sheriff: Johnny W. Bivens, 3,023.

Jailer: Chris McCane, 2,944.

Coroner: Tony Gaydos, 2,915.

County Surveyor: Michael D. Ruggles, 2,731.

Magistrate 1st District: Milt Stanfield, 783.

Constable 1st District: David Lancaster, 773.

Magistrate 2nd District: Paul Bruce Swearingen, 675; Danny McCane, 641.

Constable 2nd District: Aaron Gilbert, 955.

Magistrate 3rd District: Joe Bentley, 1,065.

Constable 3rd District, 870.

District Judge 20th Judicial District: Brian C. McCloud, 2,092.

Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisors (three elected): Chris Elam, 1,782; Jerry Bloomfield, 1,637; Bill Bertram, 1,232; D. Fred Bate, 668; Silas W. Polston, 639.

Member Board of Education 1st District: Larry Kegley, 471.

Member Board of Education 2nd District: Robert Kennard, 464.

Member Board of Education 3rd District, Sarah Willis, 418.

Mayor City of Concord: Lovell Polley, 7.

Concord City Commissioners (four elected): Sheila Walker, 7; Carol Campbell, 6; Lynda Polley, 6; Jerry Walker, 5.

Mayor City of Vanceburg: Todd Ruckel, 350; Angie Patton, 144.

Vanceburg City Council (six elected): Karen L. Fraley, 331; Matt Jarrells, 291; Denver Moore, 278; Joni Pugh, 261; Charles J. Hall, 260; Shane Hull, 237; Dorcas Gilbert, 227; Shannon Gilbert, 197.

Copyright 2015 Ledger Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(2) Comments

  1. Thomas Massie
    Report Abuse
    Thomas Massie - November 08, 2010 8:51 pm
    Actually, the incumbent Judge Executive received only 26% of the vote in the primary (and lost). And in the general election, the incumbent Mayor received only 29% of the vote (and lost). As I was out campaigning, "change" was the word that constituents brought up most frequently. No one ran on the promise of "staying the course."

    I appreciate your support.
  2. SomethingToThinkAbout
    Report Abuse
    SomethingToThinkAbout - November 03, 2010 8:07 am
    I'm hopeful for the newcomers in the county seats in Lewis County, but to say Lewis County is asking for change...that's a stretch. Only one county seat and one fiscal court seat were contested (Co. Judge & 2nd Dist Mag) by having candidates for both parties. Only a few county positions were contested in the primaries, with the incumbents still running. Other races were to replace outgoing incumbents, so change was a necessity. I will support and hope for the best, but I won't hold by breath.
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