Taking more than 50 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s primary election, Huston Wells was chosen to serve as Franklin County’s next judge-executive.
Wells won with 6,031 votes, handily beating his most vocal opponent, Chris Quire, who received 4,550. Candidates James Comer and Jim Stivers received 724 and 631 votes, respectively.
Wells said the victory was “a very humbling experience” for him, and he thanked his friends, family and supporters for their tireless work during his campaign.
“It’s such a humbling ordeal to run a campaign,” Wells said. “Just to run a campaign is so hard. Friends and family put everything they have into it.”
Wells said he is excited to start work at the beginning of his term, with a fiscal court comprised mostly of newcomers. Five of the six fiscal court seats were decided by Tuesday’s primary; Wells said he planned to host an orientation between the court members and the county’s department heads after the November general election.
Wells said his goals would be to look for ways to save money and bring new jobs into the county. He also plans to “modernize” the court through the use of social media
and other tools in an effort to make the county government more transparent.
Sheriff wins primary
Pat Melton won a chance at another term as sheriff Tuesday after what was, for much of the evening, a neck-and-neck race against challenger Joe Banta. Melton received 6,345 votes to Banta’s 5,756.
Melton told The State Journal he was grateful to his supporters and eagerly looks forward to his showdown with Republican Derrick Napier in November.
“We’re in campaign mode,” Melton said. “We’re going to talk about our record, the issues and we’re going to keep moving forward.”
Banta told The State Journal he was proud of his campaign and everyone involved in it. He thanked his friends and family, as well as the residents of Franklin County for the opportunity to run, and said he hopes the platform issues raised by his campaign are addressed in the future.
Rogers upsets Roberts
In a landslide victory, Rick Rogers, a detective with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, unseated incumbent Billy Roberts, receiving 5,070 votes to Roberts’ 2,563. Candidates William Bell and Deron Rambo received 2,392 and 1,643 votes, respectively.
The State Journal’s attempts to reach Rogers for comment Tuesday evening were unsuccessful.
Incumbent holds on
In a close race, Property Valuation Administrator Patsy Ragland Conway won another term, over challenger Jeff Hancock.
Conway edged out Hancock with 6,070 votes to 5,894.
Fiscal Court changes
Two newcomers unseated incumbents Tuesday on the Franklin County Fiscal Court.
Fred Goins, from the second district, and Scotty Tracy, from the fourth district, ousted incumbents Phillip Kring and Larry Perkins, respectively.
Goins said he thinks organization and the amount of people involved in his campaign helped him win the seat. He won the race by a fairly wide margin with 64.71 percent — 1,441 votes to Kring’s 786.
“I thought I would win by a slim margin,” Goins said.
While Goins said he may not have agreed with every decision Kring made while in office, he said that “he has dedicated 16 years of his life … he is a good person and a good magistrate and I wish him well.”
Tracy took the fourth district magistrate seat with 55.31 percent of the vote, 958 votes to Perkins’ 774.
>In the first district — a seat held for 20 years by Jill Robinson, who did not run for re-election — Michael Turner won with 847 votes, followed by Marshall Flynn with 656, Adell Kemper with 329, Terry Sutton with 182 and Ron Moore with 142.
“I can’t express how thankful I am,” Turner said.
Now, Turner, a former city commissioner, said he will focus on the fiscal court and the issues at hand, especially those concerning the budget and the storm water project, he said.
Turner said he hopes to get input from the constituents of the first district.
“You all have my number — please call,” Turner said.
>Donald Sturgeon won the third district magistrate office with 53.61 percent of the vote, beating out retired Frankfort Police Maj. Fred Deaton 1,136 to 983.
>In a primary race that was decided by the last precinct to have its votes counted, Marti Booth won the fifth district magistrate primary. Booth will go on to face Republican challenger George Arvin in November.
“I’m humbled and grateful for the support shown to me in this race,” Booth said at a celebration of her victory.
Until the last precinct checked in, Kevin Moore was leading the race. The final vote tally was 626 votes for Booth, followed by Moore with 546, Vicky Parker with 332 and Gary Watts with 220.
“I was nail biting big time,” Booth said of the close race.
>Lambert Moore won re-election as magistrate for the sixth district by a wide margin over Joe Pinson, with a vote of 1,320 to 414.
See Thursday’s State Journal for precinct-by-precinct results.