Party primary runoffs set for Tuesday

Published 6:00 pm Sunday, August 21, 2011

In Tuesday’s primary runoff elections theRepublican ballot will only feature one local race, that for statesenate District 39, and though eight local races are on theDemocratic ballot, area Republican leaders are confident they candraw voters.

    “That’s a pretty hotly contested race and two good candidates.There’s a lot of interest in that race,” said Rod Jordan, vicepresident of the Lincoln County Republican Executive Committee,speaking of the District 39 runoff between Bill Boerner and SallyDoty.

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    The Republican nominee will face the Democratic primary winner W.L.Rayborn in the general election on Nov. 8. District 39 includesLincoln, Lawrence and part of Simpson counties.

    County voting precincts will be open Tuesday from 7 a.m. until 7p.m.

    The Democratic runoffs will determine the final winners of fourraces that have no Republican or independent candidates, includingthe Lincoln County School District superintendent race.

    “That is a big one,” said Lincoln County Circuit Clerk Terry LynnWatkins about the educational leadership post. “That one has a lotof people worked up.”

    In the superintendent race, two-term incumbent Terry Brister willface challenger Donald E. Case.

    In the constable Post One runoff incumbent Kelly Porter seeks toretain his office for a second term against challenger Clint A.Earls.

    Two supervisors’ races will also end Tuesday. In the District Tworace, Bobby Watts, seeking a fourth term, will try to fend offJimmy Diamond, while three-term District Four incumbent Doug Moakis running against Eddie Brown.

    Becky Bartram and Rita Wilkinson Goss will face each other inpursuit of the tax assessor and collector office. Tuesday’sDemocratic primary winner will run against Republican Mike Jinksand independent Mavis Henderson Stewart in the Nov. 8 generalelection.

    Current tax assessor and collector Nancy Jordan is not seekingre-election, leaving the race without an incumbent.

    In another race without an incumbent, justice court judge Post Two,Carl Brown and Roger Martin are vying for the Democratic nominationto face Republican Chris King. Anne Reeves is not seekingre-election to the post.

    Ralph Boone, an incumbent who finished a 90-day suspension Aug. 17following ethics violations, will face Joe Portrey in the justicecourt judge Post One runoff. The Democratic winner will meet ArtLikens, the Republican candidate, and Raymond Boutwell, anindependent candidate, in the general election.

    W. Lavon Boyd is running for a fourth term as constable Post Twowith Troy Floyd challenging him. The Democratic nominee will meetRepublican Kirby Ebbers and independent Gary Dickerson inNovember.

    Typically, voter turnout is low in a runoff election, according toofficials, but Watkins reports comparatively high absentee votingnumbers.

    As of Friday afternoon, 678 absentee ballots had been cast.Saturday was the last day for in-office absentee voting.

    “That is the most absentee votes I have ever seen in a runoff,”said the four-term clerk Watkins. “I think that is a goodsign.”

    Watkins expressed optimism runoff voter turnout may approach orexceed the primary election turnout. That optimism was echoed byJordan.

    “With 46 percent in the primary, you could normally expect maybe 36percent in the runoff,” he said. “But with the absentee votingrunning so high, we may be surprised.”