Voter turnout for Tuesday’s May primary was considerably better this year than it was the last presidential election cycle – despite not having the Republican presidential nominees on the ballot.
Since Kentucky’s choice for the next Republican presidential candidate was determined weeks ago in a caucus, only the Democrats voted for the presidential nominee this time – along with a handful of other primary races. Nearly 20 percent of Logan County’s registered voters came out to the polls on Tuesday. In 2012, that number was just 8 percent.
In the most local of the races on the ballot, Elkton attorney Jason Petrie defeated Russellville attorney Ami Brooks for the Republican nomination for state representative for District 16, which includes Logan County, Todd County and a small portion of western Warren County.
Petrie collected 840 total votes among the three counties and Brooks received 492. Brooks received the vast majority of her votes in Logan County, where 414 cast their ballot for her. Petrie got 484 Logan County votes however, and cleaned up in his home Todd County, winning 276-38.
Petrie will now face incumbent Democrat Martha Jane King in the November general election. King was unopposed in the primary.
King and Petrie also faced off two years ago for the District 16 seat. In 2014, King easily held off Petrie by getting nearly 60 percent of the total votes to win 6,804-4,632. In that race, however, Petrie was listed as an independent after filing late to run for the office.
In the Democrat Presidential primary, Bernie Sanders won Logan County by a narrow margin. He got 1,131 votes to Hillary Clinton’s 1,077. Clinton appears to have won the state by a similarly narrow margin, however; as early returns showed Clinton with less than a 2,000 vote win over Sanders.
Kentucky also chose candidates for U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday.
In the race for U.S. Representative District 1, which includes Logan County, former Agriculture Commissioner James Comer won the Republican nomination and Sam Gaskins was unopposed for the Democrat nomination.
Comer received 60.59 percent of the votes. His closest competitor, Mike Pape, received just over 23 percent. In Logan County, Pape did somewhat better with 33 percent of the votes, but Comer still received nearly 53 percent of the votes here.
In the race for U.S. Senate, incumbent Rand Paul easily held off a pair of challengers for the Republican nomination. Paul received 85 percent of the votes statewide and did even better in Logan County, where he got 88 percent.
Paul will be opposed in the general election by Lexington mayor Jim Gray, who got 59 percent of the statewide vote. His nearest competitor, Sellus Wilder, received on 13 percent. In Logan County, Gray got 49 percent of the votes, while Ron Leach was second with 17 percent.
To contact OJ Stapleton, email [email protected] or call 270-726-8394.