By Nita Johnson
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Election officers kept busy Tuesday as voters cast their ballots for president, U.S. Representative, state senator, state representatives and local races for school board and city council as well as some uncontested races.
The uncontested races were Jackie Steele as Commonwealth’s Attorney for the 27th Judicial Circuit, Roger Schott for the Laurel Circuit Court Clerk, and Tom Jensen for Laurel/Knox Circuit Judge.
With more than 53 percent turnout Tuesday, Mitt Romney carried the heavy Republican Laurel County with 18,151 votes to Barack Obama’s 3,906. At press time on Tuesday night, however, Obama had surged past Romney on the national level with wins in most of the New England states. The roller coaster ride between the two candidates for the nation’s top seat continued, with results at 9 p.m. showing Romney with a slight edge over Obama in electoral votes at 153 to 123.
Green Card candidate Jill Stein garnered 54 votes, Independent candidate Randall A. Terry netted 91 votes, and Gary Johnson on the Libertarian ticket brought in 207 votes. There were 46 write-ins logged on the local front.
The State Senate race between Republican Albert Robinson and first-time political candidate Amie Hacker on the Democratic ticket was a tight race, with Robinson edging Hacker by only 865 votes in Laurel County. Robinson accumulated 11,291 votes to Hacker’s 10,426. According to KET, the five-county 21st District, vacated by Republican Tom Jensen, went to Robinson. Laurel County voters had 23 write-in votes for the Senate seat.
Long-time U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers was opposed by Democrat Kenneth Stepp and won by nearly 15,000 votes with Rogers tallying 18,010 votes to Stepp’s 3,696. Twelve write-ins were logged in that race.
Four state representatives ran unopposed in this year’s General Election: Regina Petrey Bunch (R) in the 82nd district with 1,923 votes to 6 write-ins; Tommy Turner (R) in the 85th with 4,892 votes and 9 write-ins; Jim Stewart (R) in the 86th with 2,986 votes and 9 write-ins; and Marie Rader (R) in the 89th with 7,843 and 28 write-in votes.
In the Constitutional Amendment for the right to hunt, fish, and trap, the “yes” votes outnumbered the “no” votes, 17,161 to 2,436.
There were 22,738 total votes cast in Laurel County Tuesday, with 20,954 coming out to the polls and 1,156 absentee votes cast by machine with 628 absentee votes being mailed in.
Those voting straight Republican tickets reached 7,196, or 80.5 percent, while 1,668 votes were cast as straight tickets for the Democratic party. The Green Card party brought in 25 votes while the Libertarian party had 56 votes.