By Stan Welch
A heavy voter turnout favored the incumbents in local races Tuesday. Voter turnout was more than sixty five per cent.
Anderson County Council will remain unchanged, with the challenged incumbents all winning impressive victories. Those results may have been influenced by the statewide snafu during the primary season which removed hundreds of candidates from their respective ballots.
Those affected had the option of seeking signatures on petitions to restore them to the general election ballot; they were listed as independent petition candidates, however. In addition, write-in candidates appeared in a number of races; those numbers were insignificant in the overall returns.
District One incumbent Francis Crowder won almost sixty four percent of the vote, handily defeating challenger Jeff Ricketson. Third District incumbent Eddie Moore defeated petition candidate James Mitchell by a margin of eighteen points.
Fifth District incumbent Councilman Tommy Dunn ran even stronger, beating challenger Denny Floyd by a margin of forty percentage points.
In District Six, incumbent Ken Waters crushed challenger Ann Smith by a margin of four to one. Waters credited a strong support team for his impressive win, including his campaign manager, Jay Acterhoff.
“Jay managed to guide me through the pitfalls and got all my ethics forms correctly filed, which as you know, was very important this year. I really appreciate the support the voters gave me, and I plan to continue my efforts to meet with them, hear their concerns and do what I can to address them. I also look forward to the County’s continuing efforts to attract good jobs to the county and to the Powdersville and Piedmont areas.”
In other county races, incumbents were unchallenged except for write-ins. Sheriff John Skipper, Solicitor Chrissy Adams, Coroner Greg Shore, Auditor Jacky Hunter, Treasurer Jason Phillips, and Clerk of Court Richard Shirley will all serve another term.
Senators Billy O’Dell and Kevin Bryant ran unopposed, as did State Representatives Brian White, Mike Gambrell, Anne Thayer, and Joshua Putnam. Rep, Don Bowen won reelection by defeating Ted Luckadoo by a margin of 52% to 47%.
Congressman Jeff Duncan handily defeated Democratic challenger Bryan Doyle by thirty six points.
In Anderson School District One, Mike Wilson and Moochie Merritt ran unopposed for the office of trustee, while Brenda Ellison defeated Rick Bell by approximately 17 points. Ellison received 7,725 votes to Bell’s 5,503.
Incumbents Lib Pack and Rudy Rhodes ran unopposed for the Piedmont Public Service Commission.
Al Rentz was elected to the Big Creek Watershed Commission, while Adelaide Gantt and Eric McConnell were elected to the Brushy Creek Watershed commission. Mark Bishop, Phil Tripp, and W.H. McAbee III were elected to the Three and Twenty Watershed commission.
The vote on a state Constitutional amendment which would require the Governor and Lt. Governor to be from the same party and run together on the same ticket reflected the state percentages very closely. The amendment was approved by a vote of 55%-45%.
In the national Presidential election, incumbent Barack Hussein Obama won reelection to a second term, defeating Mitt Romney for both the popular vote and the electoral vote.