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Davis, Lambert advance in constable campaign

MONTICELLO – A runoff for Post Two constable will be held Nov.16 as Lawrence County residents trimmed their field of candidatesfrom six to two Tuesday.

Brad Davis had a vast lead on his nearest challenger with 927votes (26.88 percent), but failed to capture enough votes to avoidthe runoff in complete but unofficial results. Davis was appointedafter his father, incumbent Claude Davis, succumbed to a lengthyillness.

Davis will face Tony R. Lambert in the runoff for the specialelection. Lambert advanced after gaining a slight lead on otherchallengers for the office. Davis’ opponent was not determineduntil the last precinct box in the district was counted.

Lambert secured 564 votes (16.35 percent) while Steve Reidcaptured 545 votes (15.80 percent) and Tony Norwood garnered 482votes (13.97 percent). They were followed by Claude H. Wallace with411 votes (11.91 percent) and Edward C. May with 381 votes (11.04percent).

In a second special election on Tuesday’s ballot, interim schoolboard member Tony R. Thames soundly defeated challenger KennethPlatt for the District Three post.

Thames captured 969 votes (70.06 percent) while Platt received344 votes (24.87 percent).

Thames was appointed to the board following the 2003 election.His wife, former incumbent Sherry Thames, left the office after asuccessful bid for the tax assessor/collector’s office.

Allen Thurman and Maxie P. Boutwell were unopposed for schoolboard District One and District Two seats, respectively.

All five election commissioner offices were open this year, butMartha G. Tynes in District One and Lorraine G. Smith in DistrictThree were unopposed.

In District Two, incumbent Marilyn Daughdrill chose not to seekreelection; and Joyce W. Price and Laurell “Lolly” Schultz made abid for the office. Price won the race, gaining 701 votes (80.94percent) to Schultz’s 186 votes (13.51 percent).

Election Commissioner incumbents June Grubbs in District Fourand Lue Jean Harvey in District Five fought off challengers to winreelection.

Grubbs, with 763 votes (66.57 percent), easily defeated ShirleyWalker, who received 332 votes (28.97 percent), while Harvey, with674 votes (51.60 percent), faced stiff competition from DorthaLipscomb, who secured 587 votes (44.94 percent).

Despite early box counts that put Democratic Sens. John Kerryand John Edwards in the lead for the presidency, incumbentRepublican President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheneysailed into a commanding lead in Lawrence County. The Bush/Cheneyticket secured 3,900 votes (58.87 percent) to the Kerry/Edwardsticket’s 2,266 votes (34.20 percent).

In regional voting, incumbent Republican Chip Pickering Jr.easily regained his seat in the House of Representatives DistrictThree. Pickering captured 68.26 percent of the vote with 4,522people selecting him. Independent Jim Giles garnered 956 votes(14.43 percent) and Reform Party candidate Lamonica Magee received482 votes (7.27 percent).

Lawrence County split nearly equally on their choice forDistrict Two, Position Three Supreme Court justice in a racedecided locally by less than 100 votes.

In Lawrence County, challenger Joe Lee captured 2,980 votes(44.98 percent) while incumbent interim Justice Mike Randolphsecured 2,886 votes (43.56 percent). Randolph received enough votesin other counties, however, to overturn Lawrence County’schoice.

The county followed the state in overwhelmingly approving theConstitutional Amendment 1 Resolution 56, commonly referred to asthe marriage amendment. Supporters of the amendment passed themeasure with 87.10 percent of the vote (5,770 votes) whileopponents received only 573 votes (8.65 percent).

Approximately 100 affidavit ballots have yet to be counted, saidCircuit Clerk Cindy Stokes, but they are unlikely to affect theoutcome of any race.

“We have so many affidavit ballots it will probably be tomorrowbefore they can all be hand-counted,” she said Tuesday night.

It was a long night for election officials between votersmarking more than one candidate in the presidential race andvote-counting machine errors.

Many voters were confused with the long list of presidentialcandidates. The list filled the left-hand column of ballots andcontinued into the second column. Many voters chose a candidate inboth columns.

“That’s more than 90 percent of why we’re having to stop sooften,” said machine operator Rusty O’Neal.

Those ballots were then hand-counted.

Despite the stoppages caused by overvoting, the electionproceeded quickly and was nearly finished at 10 p.m. with only twoof 26 precincts left to be counted. Machine errors began to hamperthe operation, stopping the machine after two or three ballots,however, and vote counting was not completed until after 1 a.m.