Incumbents, Reeves take county post wins

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Democratic incumbents in Lincoln County races wereoverwhelmingly returned to their seats Tuesday while the party’snominee for a Justice Court judge post captured the office in adecisive win.

Lincoln County residents went to the polls Tuesday to choosetheir next sheriff, two supervisors and a Justice Court judge forPost Two. State and regional races were also on the ballot.

In complete but unofficial totals, voters returned DemocratsSheriff Steve Rushing, District Four Supervisor Doug Moak andDistrict Five Supervisor Gary Walker and elected Ann Reeves to thevacant Post Two bench.

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Totals released immediately following the election do notinclude absentee or affidavit ballots, which will be counted today,said Circuit Clerk Terry Lynn Watkins.

“We won’t be counting the absentee and affidavit ballotstonight, but the number of ballots we have cannot change any race,”she said Tuesday.

Rushing posted commanding numbers by returning to his appointedoffice with 89.4 percent of the vote. He earned 8,005 votes whileRepublican challenger Terry Harper captured 950.

“I’ve tried to run a good, clean race based on my record since Iwas appointed sheriff. I think a lot of people looked at that andliked the direction of the department,” said Rushing, who wasappointed in September 2006 after the previous sheriffresigned.

Following his appointment, Rushing restarted the DARE programand other outreach programs and reorganized the county jail.

“I’m very honored and very proud of the support I got today,” hesaid. “I was overwhelmed with the support I got in the primary andI am just really proud of the support I received in the generalelection.”

The two supervisors said they were relieved to get the electionbehind them so they could put more focus on their daily duties.They were both returned to office by securing approximately 73percent of the vote in their districts.

“It’s a relief it’s over finally,” Walker said. “It’s time to goto work again for another four years. I thank Michael Assink for aclean race.”

Walker defeated his Republican challenger by a vote of 1,345 to496.

He dedicated the victory, which gives him a third term inoffice, to his father Enoch Walker.

Moak also expressed relief in recapturing his District Fourseat. He defeated Earl H. Brown, an independent, on a vote of 1,479to 540.

“It’s been a long campaign and I’m relieved it’s over,” he said.”I’m just grateful the people gave me another opportunity to workfor them and I look forward to another four years.”

Moak said he was looking forward to a third term because he hadseveral projects he wanted to see finished.

“I think it’s good for supervisors to repeat their terms to keepthe continuity and keep things moving forward, such as the businesspark,” he said.

An excited Reeves was effusive in her appreciation of voters andthanked Justice Court Judges B.J. Price and Judy Case Martin fortheir mentoring over the years. Reeves, a justice court clerk,served under Price and Martin, who both chose not to seekre-election.

Ralph Boone was appointed Oct. 31 to replace Martin on the benchafter winning the seat in the August Primary.

“I appreciate the help of Judges Martin and Price through theyears and for the knowledge I have in the office,” Reeves said.”Judge Boone and I have been thinking about different plans we hopeto get started in the Justice Court the first of January.”

Reeves, Boone and Rushing have discussed the initiation of aback pay program to allow monthly payments to settle old fines anda program to allow those who cannot afford fines to work off theamount through community service.

Reeves, who defeated Republican challenger Freddie Canon on avote of 3,076 to 938, praised Canon and the opponents she defeatedin the primary.

“We kept a very clean campaign and that says a lot of ourcharacter,” she said. “My opponent tonight was really nice. I gotto meet him for the first time during this campaign and it was anhonor.”

Candidates elected to office Tuesday will take their seats Jan.1.