July 23, 2014 - 12:16
Big turnout on election day
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Sales tax referendum fails miserably

While no countywide office elections were on the ballot, record numbers of Polk folk went out to the polls last Tuesday to cast their ballot for President, Senate and House of Representatives. City elections were also on the ballot of Ducktown, Benton and Copperhill.

Nearly 54% of all registered voters in the county came out to the polls this election, with the Delano and Springtown precincts both bringing out at least 60% of voters. 6211 voters participated in the election.

A sales tax referendum was also on the ballot, which failed miserably. 4264 voted against raising the sales tax; 1148 voted for it. Had the hike is sales tax gone through, the extra money generated would have been allocated for the school system. Director of Schools James Jones asked the commission for money to purchase buses this year, and 10 more buses will be needed by 2014. Buses must be replaced after no longer than 15 years of service.

In local city elections, Benton Mayor Jerry Stephens and Commissioners Joe Jenkins and Gene Pack were all reelected. Judy Long Cearley received more votes on election day, but early voters came out stronger for Pack, her nearest competitor. Stephens received a total of 484 votes. Jenkins got 431 votes; Pack got 311 and Cearley received 213 votes.

In Copperhill, Eric Waters was elected Mayor with 74 votes, over challenger Tom Myers, who received 57 votes. Write-in candidate Herb Hood received 13 votes. WL Standridge, the only candidate for four open seats on the board, received 120 votes.

In Ducktown, Doug Collins was reelected and newcomer James Cearley was elected to the board of city commissioners. Only 22 voted separated Cearley from the next closest opponent, Bryan McMillian. Collins received 117 votes; Cearley got 94 and McMillian received 72.

Republican Eric Watson retained his seat in the 22nd District House of Representatives by defeating Democrat challenger Jonathan Galdden. Watson received 4045 votes; Gladden got 1844.

Polk County supported Republican Bob Corker for Senate. He beat our Democrat opponent Mark Clayton with just over 70% of votes. Corker received 4143; Clayton received 1513. Congressional Party candidate Kermit Steck got 42 votes; Green Party candidate Martin Pleasant got 48; Independent candidates received the following: Shaun Crowell, 39; David Gatchell, 15; James Higdon, 32; Michael Long, 13; Troy Scoggin, 20.

Chuck Fleischman gained overwhelming support amongst Polk Countians, beating Democrat Mary Headrick 3722 to 1964. Independent candidate Matthew Deniston received 177 votes.

Locals strongly supported Mitt Romney for President. Romney received 4108 of votes cast. Barack Obama, who was ultimately reelected, garnered 1856 of Polk County votes.

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