A small percentage of Letcher County’s registered voters showed up at the polls Tuesday to give their nod of approval to two incumbents. A third current officeholder did not fare so well.
Letcher Circuit Clerk Margaret Nichols and 92nd District Representative John W. Short easily won the Democratic Primary Election. However, Democrats voted against President Barack Obama by a margin of more than two to one, an indication that Obama will have little chance against Republican nominee Mitt Romney in November.
Nichols, who has held her position for 25 years, won by 1,296 votes. She received 1,723 votes while challenger
Debra Gibson got 427 votes.
“I would like to thank all of my family, my friends and my staff who came to me and asked me if they could help me with my campaign,” said Nichols. “Without them I could not have made it. I have always tried to live by an old saying that my dad always said to me and that is, ‘If you want friends, you must first make yourself friendly.’”
State Rep. John W. Short beat challenger Bobby Hamilton by 629 votes. Short received 848 votes while Hamilton got 219 votes. The 92nd District covers all of Knott and Magoffin counties, and a portion of Letcher County (14 precincts stretching from West Whitesburg to Colson, Millstone and on to Blackey).
Obama managed to get only 489 Democratic votes, while 1,070 of the party’s supporters voted to send “uncommitted” delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., in September.
Romney got 357 votes in the Republican Primary Election here. Even though all other GOP challengers had officially withdrawn from the race, Congressman Ron Paul still received 75. Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich got 29 votes and former U.S. Rep. Rick Santorum got 26 votes. Thirtythree Republicans chose to send “uncommitted” delegates to their national convention in Tampa Bay, Fla., in August.
Kenneth S. Stepp won the Democratic Primary for 5th District U.S. Representative in Congress by 288 votes. Stepp received 842 votes while Michael Ackerman got 554 votes. Stepp will face incumbent Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers, a Republican, in the November election.
Of 16,051 registered voters in Letcher County, only 2,653, or 16.5 percent, voted Tuesday. Democrats accounted for 2,139 votes, while Republicans accounted for 514.