Twenty-six percent of Pulaski County registered voters cast ballots in the Primary Election on Tuesday.
There were highly contested races for County Commissioner of the Eastern and Western Districts on the County Court. The winner of a five-candidate free-for-all in Eastern District was Charles Bassett with 842 votes. Bassett edged out Roger Rose for the post, with the latter having the lead before the county’s last precinct to report results gave Bassett a 150-vote plurality in the precinct. Rose finished second with 790 voters. Michael Hartley ran a strong race and garnered 747 votes. Angie Hale received 418 votes and Glen Clark, 240.
An equally tight race took place in the Western District. The eventual winner was Justin Smith with 743 votes, edging out Danny Click’s 492 votes, Incumbent Western District Commissioner Rick Zweerink’s 460 votes, and Joe Leuthen’s 304 votes. Current County Sheriff Jimmy Bench held off four challengers to win re-election. Bench gathered 1,954 votes to 1,563 for Rex Larson. Nick Pappas scored 747 votes, Clarence Liberty 583 and David Etheridge 274. In the two-candidate race for Assessor, Daniel Whittle easily won another term, 4,002 votes to 900 for Bryan Baldwin. The race for County Coroner was won by Roger Graves the Second, 3,120 to 1,828 over Johnny Burgess. Loretta Rouse, who was unopposed for Pulaski County Public Administrator gathered 4,333 votes to win re-election. Bill Hardwick was unopposed on the Republican ballot for 122nd District State Representative and got 2,519 ballots. Yvonne Reeves-Chong was unopposed on the Democrat ballot for that post and garnered 613 votes. Hardwick and Reeves-Chong will face each other for 122nd District State Representative in the November General Election. Don Mayhew was the only candidate on the ballot for 121st District State Representative and won re-election to another term in office. The statewide ballot proposal–Amendment Two that would expand Medicaid coverage in the state–was given a big “thumbs down” by county voters, 4274 no votes to 1836 on the yes side.