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Johnston, Lewis survive tough Primary Election

In Local, News by Lee Bratcher

By Lee Bratcher / OC Monitor

HARTFORD, Ky. — A crowd of over 100 people came out to the Ohio County Community Center to get the results of some very intriguing battles for local and state government on this Primary Election Day.

In perhaps the most interesting race, the Republican Primary for Ohio County Judge-Executive, incumbent David Johnston outlasted his four opponents. Johnston received 48 percent of the total 3,133 votes. Steve Geary finished in second place with 31 percent of the vote, while Greg Decker received 14 percent, Bryan Wilson received 6 percent and Robert Seaton received 1 percent of the vote.

In the Democratic race for Judge-Executive, former Third District Magistrate Brandon Thomas will move on to face Johnston in a rematch from November 2014 later this year. Thomas received 69 percent of the 1,527 total votes, while newcomer Richard Schaeffer received 31 percent of the votes.

After facing four Primary opponents, Johnston felt good about his performance.

“I feel really good. The first Primary I ever won, it was by 60 votes, and this one was by (551),” Johnston said. “I feel pretty good about that.”

When asked about facing Thomas again in November, “Yes, we’ve been there before. I’m going to run as aggressive and as hard as I can, but it’s going to be a clean race,” Johnston said.

Another race of interest, at least for those who work in the school system, was the Republican Primary race for 14th District State Representative between newcomers, Scott Lewis and Jordan Lanham. The 14th District is made up of Ohio County and eastern Daviess County.

In Ohio County, Lewis crushed Lanham by capturing almost 70 percent of the vote. While in Daviess County, Lanham did the same to Lewis by capturing over 73 percent of the vote. In the end, Lewis won the nomination by winning 56 percent of the total vote of the two counties.

Lewis will now go on to the November General Election to face Democrat Elizabeth Belcher.

Democrats also had a state race to decide, as Democrats Paul Walker and Alonzo Pennington were running for U.S. Representative in the 1st Congressional District. The 1st Congressional District is made up of 35 counties.

In Ohio County, Walker routed Pennington by capturing 84 percent of the votes. Walker also fared well in other counties in the 1st District by capturing over 75 percent of the total vote. Walker will now face Rep. James Comer, the incumbent Republican.

In the Republican race for Ohio County Coroner, former Ohio County Sheriff Elvis Doolin won the Primary by receiving 60 percent of the votes. His opponent, David Todd Morris got 40 percent of the vote. Doolin will move on to face Democrat Mandy Kessinger Hays in November.

In the Republican race for 1st District Constable, Joe Renfrow received 65 percent of the vote, while Mike Nance got 35 percent of the vote. Renfrow will move on to face incumbent Democrat Dickie Gibson in the General Election.

In the Republican race for 3rd District Magistrate, Marty Tichenor won a close contest by capturing 52 percent of the votes. His opponent, Jason Burden received 48 percent of the vote. Burden was the Republican candidate for 3rd District Magistrate in 2014.

In a crowded race for the Democratic Primary for 3rd District Magistrate, incumbent Joe Barnes edged out a victory over his two opponents by capturing 38 percent of the vote. Mark Whittaker finished in second with 34 percent of the vote and Larry Griffin received 28 percent of the vote.

The incumbent Barnes will face Tichenor in the November General Election for 3rd District Magistrate. Tichenor was pleased with his victory today and looking forward to November.

“I feel good. It’s been hard work so far, but I’m no stranger to that, and I’m looking forward to the final run,” Tichenor said. “I’m looking forward to a clean contest with Joe (Barnes).”

In another crowded 3rd District race, incumbent Jonathan James won the Republican Primary for constable. James held off three other opponents receiving 34 percent of the vote. Jeremy Nance finished in second with 28 percent, then David Wilkerson with 20 percent and Nathan Fulkerson with 18 percent of the vote.

One of the more surprising races of the night, at least for a time, was the Republican Primary for 4th District Magistrate. Incumbent Larry Keown received quite a challenge from newcomer Kenneth Calloway. Calloway led the race by over 20 votes with one precinct yet to report. However, when the last precinct reported, it was enough for Keown to come back and win the race. Keown received 54 percent of the votes, while Calloway picked up 46 percent.

Because there were no Democrats who filed to run for 4th District Magistrate, Keown will serve another term beginning in 2019.

In the Republican Primary race for 5th District Magistrate, incumbent Larry Morphew held off two opponents to win the nomination. Morphew won 46 percent of the vote, while Dewayne Johnson received 41 percent and Cecil Gilstrap got 13 percent of the vote.

Morphew will move on to face Democratic challenger Jack Payton in November.

In the Republican race for 5th District Constable, Josh Wright won the race picking up 46 percent of the votes. Wayne Crowe Sr. finished second with 31 percent of the vote and incumbent Michael D. Simpson finished third with 23 percent of the vote.

Ohio County will head back to the polls Tuesday, Nov. 6, for the General Election.

Final unofficial results

Ohio County Voter Turnout: 26.69% – 4,769 of 17,867 registered voters

Winners in bold, incumbents noted with an “I”.


Republican Candidates

Robert Earl Seaton – 26 — 0.83%
I-David Johnston – 1,513 — 48.29%
Steve Geary – 962 — 30.71%
Bryan Wilson – 177 — 5.65%
Greg Decker – 455 – 14.52%

Democratic Candidates

Richard Schaeffer – 471 — 30.84%
Brandon Thomas – 1,056 — 69.16%


Republican Candidates

Elvis Doolin – 1,855 — 60.56%
David Todd Morris – 1,208 — 39.44%

Democratic Candidate

Mandy Kessinger Hays


Republican Candidate

Joe Renfrow – 302 — 64.95%
Guthrie Mike Nance – 163 — 35.05%

Democratic Candidate

I-Leslie R. Dickie Gibson


Republican Candidates

Jason Burden – 272 — 48.14%
Marty Tichenor – 293 — 51.86%

Democratic Candidates

Larry Griffin – 147 — 27.84%
I-Joe Barnes – 202 — 38.26%
Mark Whittaker – 179 — 33.90%


Republican Candidates

Nathan Fulkerson – 99 — 18.03%
Jeremy Nance – 155 — 28.23%
I-Jonathan Lee James – 185 — 33.70%
David Wilkerson – 110 — 20.04%


Republican Candidates

Kenneth Calloway – 241 — 46.35%
I-Larry Keown – 279 — 53.65%


Republican Candidates

Dewayne Johnson – 359 — 40.89%
Cecil Gilstrap – 112 — 12.76%
I-Larry W. Morphew – 407 — 43.36%

Democratic Candidate

Jack Payton


Republican Candidates

Wayne Crowe Sr. – 263 — 30.56%
Josh Wright – 392 — 45.69%
I-Michael D. Simpson – 203 — 23.66%


Republican Candidates (Total votes including Eastern Daviess County)

Jordan Lanham – 1,991 — 43.80% (Ohio Co. – 941 – 30.23%)
Scott Lewis – 2,555 — 56.20% (Ohio Co. – 2,172 — 69.77%)


Democratic Candidates (34 of 35 counties reporting as of this writing)

Paul Walker – 50,991 — 74.59% (Ohio Co. – 1,198 — 84.90%)
Alonzo Pennington – 17,371 — 25.41% (Ohio Co. – 213 — 15.10%)

Republican Candidate

I-James R. Comer Jr.

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