Nov. 9—More than a third of Laurel County's registered voters turned out for the General Election — not just on Tuesday but with the options of absentee and early voting.
According to the unofficial election results available through County Clerk Tony Brown's website, 8.6% of Laurel County's 49,379 registered voters cast their ballots before Tuesday with 3,088 participating in early voting between Thursday and Saturday; 1,005 mailing in their absentee ballots and 164 voting absentee in person at the Laurel County Courthouse. Of the 17,965 total ballots cast (36.4% of registered voters), a total of 13,708 came in through one of 18 voting centers on Election Day.
The one countywide race that featured two candidates was the one for Jailer with Republican incumbent Jamie Mosley winning a large majority with 14,557 votes over Democrat challenger Walter Trebolo III with 2,566.
Several local races were not in question — having been settled in the May Primary.
Judge Executive David Westerfield, Sheriff John Root, County Attorney Jodi Albright, County Clerk Tony Brown, PVA Don McFadden, Coroner Doug Bowling, Surveyor Chris Hubbard, 1st District Magistrate John Crawford, 2nd District Magistrate Danny Smith, 3rd District Magistrate Bobby Overbay, 4th District Magistrate Jeff Book, 5th District Magistrate Billy B. Oakley, 6th District Magistrate Richard D. Bales, 1st District Constable Justin Williams, 2nd District Constable Steven D. Cornn, 3rd District Constable Jimmy Lewis, 4th District Constable Travis Gregory, 5th District Constable Rick Yaden, and 6th District Constable Robert Smith — all Republicans — were running unopposed in the General Election.
Similarly, most of the nonpartisan judicial races in the 27th Judicial Circuit were not challenged with Circuit Judges Gregory Lay and Michael Caperton running unopposed as did Family Court Judge Stephen Jones and District Judges W. "Skip" Hammons and John Chappell. East Bernstadt-based attorney Lucas Joyner won the newly created second Family Court judgeship for Laurel and Knox counties.
Only two state representatives of Laurel County's six faced opposition.
In the 85th District, Republican incumbent Shane Baker won locally by 3,977 votes to Democrat challenger Bryon Vaught's 751. Baker also won big in Pulaski County with 7,779 votes to Vaught's 1,855.
In the 89th District, Republican Timmy Truett — who had been appointed to replace Robert Goforth — was on his way to a first full term with strong leads in Madison, Lee and Laurel counties. In Laurel County, he defeated Democrat challenger Brittany Oliver 1,665 votes to 198.
State Representatives who were unopposed in Tuesday's election were: Tom Odell Smith, 86th District; Josh Bray, 71st District; Nicholas "Nick" Wilson, 82nd District; and Derek Lewis, 90th District. The last re-districting split Laurel County into 6 representative districts from its past 5 districts.
Of the federal races, Republican incumbent Rand Paul handily won Laurel County with 14,474 votes to Democrat challenger Charles Booker's 3,096 and 13 non-specified write-in votes. Paul had also been called the statewide victor at press time — going on to a third term as United States Senator.
Fifth District Congressman Hal Rogers will extend his record as longest-serving member of the U.S. House of Representatives with a win over Democrat challenger Conor Halbleib. Locally, Rogers won by a wide margin of 14,816 votes to Halbleib's 2,538.
In the Court of Appeals Judge races, Jacqueline Caldwell in the 3rd Appellate 1st Division and James H. Lambert in the 2nd Division were both unopposed. Caldwell received 10,552 votes while Lambert got 10,591.
In the school board races in the Laurel County District 1, Tony Krahenbuhl pulled off a victory over opponent Teton Jauh-Rawn Napier by 630 votes. Krahenbuhl logged in a total of 1,679 votes to Napier's 1,049.
In District 3, Brice Hicks was the top vote getter with 1,870 to Michael Nelson Jones's 1,084 votes.
Hicks and Krahenbuhl will replace current board members, Phillip Bundy and John Begley, neither of which sought re-election.
In the East Bernstadt school board race, Tricia Stokes Mullins was the highest vote getter with 186 votes. Jim Sutton, who serves as chairman of the board, received 186 votes and Tom Caudel brought in 139. None of the three were opposed.
In the Constitutional Amendments, Laurel County voted in high numbers favoring allowing the state legislature to call themselves into session as needed. Previously, special sessions had to be called by the Governor. Laurel County voted 9,946 in favor to 6,086 nay votes.
Constitutional Amendment 2 would specify that the Kentucky Constitution does not guarantee the right to abortions and had a large majority in the Yes votes in Laurel County. The Yes votes numbered 11,926 — or 69% — to 5,359 No votes — 31%.
The margin was much narrower on the statewide level, however. According to the Kentucky Secretary of State's website lat 10:30 p.m. Tuesday night, 70 of Kentucky's 120 counties had reported their totals with the Yes votes showing a slim margin of 51% in favor of language in the Constitution that does not guarantee the right to abortion, as opposed to 49% of No votes.
According to the statistics from the Laurel County Clerk's Office, of the 49,379 registered voters in Laurel County, there were a total of 17,965 ballots cast in Tuesday's general election. Of those, the absentee votes numbered 1,005, in-person absentee votes were 164, early voting netted 3,088 and 13,708 ballots cast on Election Day.