County votes for change

Published 1:24 am Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Candidates and family members watch with trepidation as a new set of poll numbers were posted in the courthouse.


There will be a new chairman and two new members of the Covington County Commission next January, but first there will be two runoff races.

Kylan Lewis captured 35.76 percent of the votes cast in the race for commission chairman, and William “Bill” Godwin got 32.75 percent of the votes, forcing a runoff on April 24. Current Chairman Lynn Sasser was a close third with 31.48 percent of the votes.

There also will be a runoff in District 2 County Commission, where Joe Barton and Randall McCart also will meet in April.

Lewis said he’s happy to be in the runoff and plans to continue his “clean, aggressive” campaign.

“I intended to run a clean, aggressive campaign to get here, and I did,” Lewis said. “I thank everyone for helping me to get here, and I humbly ask for the support (in the runoff.) I plan to ask (Sasser) for his support and for the support of his voters. I plan to do the best job I can in running and in working for the county, if elected.”

Godwin said he’s relieved the primary is over, but knows there’s more work ahead of him before the runoff.

“It’s been an honor to be in the process,” Godwin said. “I appreciate all the support that I received, and I look forward to continuing the process to help this county move forward.”

Godwin said he was impressed by the number of votes cast in the Tuesday primary.

“I’ve never seen this many people, period,” he said. “Not on the ballot or in the courthouse as returns come in.”

Forty-one percent of Cvoington County’s 21,863 registered voters participated in Tuesday’s party primaries.

Sasser said he’s enjoyed his work and time on the commission.

“It’s been a pleasure for me to serve; I’ve enjoyed the work,” he said.

He said he has a simple plan once his term ends.

“I’m going to the house and spend time with the grandkids.”


District 1

In the race for District 1 Commissioner, the incumbent David Ellis was defeated by his opponent, Kenneth Northey, by 389 votes.

With 53 percent of the vote, Northey collected 3,938 votes to Ellis’ 3,549 votes.

“All I can say is, ‘thank you,’ – thank you to all the people who worked for me, helped me and voted for me,” Northey said. “I couldn’t have done it without you. I’m thankful to my friends and family who believed in me.

“I look forward to working with everyone on the commission and taking care of business,” he said. “And don’t think that just because the election is over that I’m going to stop talking to people. I want to hear what the people in this county has to say.”


District 2

Barton got 41 percent of the votes, leading challenger Randall McCart by 501 votes. McCart got 35 percent of the votes cast in that race. Tony Wells, the third candidate, received 1,870 votes (24 percent).

“It was a close, clean race,” Barton said. “I appreciate everyone coming out to vote. Now, it’s time to tighten our belt and get at it again.”

McCart said he felt good about the numbers on the board.

“It feels real good to be in the runoff,” he said. “We all worked hard, and I had a lot of support from my family and my wife. I want to thank everyone who came out to vote and helped me. I’m going to ask that you do it again, and to those who didn’t vote, I humbly ask that you head to the polls for the runoff.”


District 3

With 51 percent of the votes cast, Harold Elmore was re-elected for a third term as District 3 Commissioner with 3,908 votes to Wallace “Joe” Bush’s 3,731. The two were separated by 177 votes.

“I thank the Lord above for what He allowed me to do,” Elmore said of his win. “I thank my wife, my family, all the people who voted for me and especially, John Henry Daniel and Larry Presley who asked people to vote for me.

“I’m humbled to win,” he said.

Bush said he enjoyed the process.

“I had a ball meeting people,” he said. “I think I was able to bring up some issues the new commissioners will have to address. I wish them luck.”


District 4

In District 4, incumbent Carl Turman narrowly defeated Allen Lucas by 55 votes.

With 29 of 30 boxes reporting, Turman received 50.37 percent of votes or 3,774, while Lucas received 49.63 percent of votes or 3,719.

“I’m glad it’s over so we can get on to business,” Turman said. “I ran a clean campaign and I hope that the residents of Covington County saw that. I want us to hook together and go on and make Covington County a better place. I’m ready for us to cross some more bridges.”


Provisional ballots are the only ones not included in current totals, Probate Judge Ben Bowden said. Those ballots cannot be counted until seven days after the election, he said, and are counted by the Board of Registrars.

It is unknown how many provisional votes were cast, he said, because they are sealed with the records. It will be up to the Board of Registrars to determine if the votes were cast by registered voters.

In addition, the provisional count could include some absentee ballots that were postmarked by the deadline but have not yet been received.


None of the candidate — all Republicans — face opposition in the November General Election. Commissioners will take office in November.