Williamson County - Election wrap-up: Victors ready to get started
By Donna OíNeil, Managing Editor
As the polls closed Aug. 2, Williamson County Election officials released information that 17,199 or 13.27 percent of the 129,644 registered voters exercised their right to vote in the recent Primary Election.
Arguably the most watched race was the one that would seat the first District 65 state Representative from Williamson County. Candidate Jeremy Durham, of Franklin, emerged victorious over challengers Kenny Young, of Franklin, and Dennis Kiser, of Spring Hill. Durham received 2,990 votes. Young received 2,141 and Kiser received 1,585.
Pleased with the win, Durham said his hard work paid off. “We knocked on more than 16,000 doors and shook hands. We met some good people and I would definitely do it again.”
Of his opponents, he said he could see the trio working together in the future and supporting candidates who would help Williamson County in other their runs for other offices.
Kiser said, “I believe we ran a great campaign and we kept to the issues.” He explained his disappointment in his would-be constituents. “I think Spring Hill didn’t get out to vote.”
After the primary Kiser said he was headed to Mobile for a vacation and to “think about the future.”
Voters in District 61 returned state Rep. Charles Sargent, of Franklin, to the seat he has held since 1996. Sargent garnered 3,050 votes, while challenger Rob Hathaway, also of Franklin, received 1,888 votes.
“It was a very good race, a great run,” Sargent said. “We kept the campaign positive. I am grateful to the voters of District 61 for giving me an opportunity to serve them once again. I am looking forward to continuing to work for District 61.”
Sargent arrived at his victory celebration at Legends Golf Club to a packed house of supporters Thursday night.
“The Ole Yankee done good,” said Charles Wilson. “He has worked hard for this district for sixteen years, and has made a huge difference in this community. He has always taken my phone call and I am here to show my support.”
“This was a total team effort, not a one man show. Wow what victory,” said Sargent as he addressed his supporters. “You always think you are going to win but you never really know until the last vote is counted and I am grateful to you all.”
“I am very proud that we won every box in the district,” he said.
“ I will continue to work just as hard if not harder than I have over the past 16 years. I want to lower taxes and keep recruiting new business to this county. Education is very important to me and we will continue to find funding for education. Columbia State will be built!” he said emphatically, referring to his tireless efforts to bring the new campus to fruition.
“Our team stopped at every poll today, and I can’t thank all the volunteers enough today. This was a total team effort, starting with my family, my wife Nancy and our children’s help,” he said.
“[On Election Day] we started at 6:30 a.m. and didn’t stop until 7 p.m. We set up 15 tents across the district, supplied water to supporters and opponents; it didn’t matter. It’s about community and that is what Charles is about, taking care of his community,” said David Gurley.
The area’s other state Representative Glen Casada ran unopposed and received 3,161 votes with 35 voters opting to write in other names.
Each of Williamson County’s three state Representatives had no Democratic opposition and therefore are elected to the seats ahead of Election Day in November.
Also returning to her seat was Congressman Marsha Blackburn who received 13,715 votes.
Running unopposed and elected to the position of Circuit Court Judge District 21 as Mike Binkley. Brad Coleman was elected to Williamson County Assessor of Property with 13,527 votes and no challenger.
There will be newcomers to the Williamson County School Board as the school year begins. Serving District 1 will be Kenneth Peterson, who received 773 votes over challenger Eddie Creech’s 615 votes. The pair was running for the seat vacated by veteran board member D’Wayne Greer who opted not to run again.
In the District 3 seat will be P.J. Mezera who ran for the seat previously held by Janine Moore. Mezera received 1,060 votes.
Veteran board member Gary Anderson was returned to his seat representing District 5 with 734 votes.
District 7’s two challengers for the seat vacated by Susan Graham who opted not to run again was among the closest in the school district races. Robert “Bobby” Hullett will represent the district as he received 698 votes over challenger Brian Randolph who received 634 votes.
District 9 board member Rick Wimberly was returned to the seat he was appointed to when former board member Barry Watkins moved out of the district. Wimberly received 1,571 votes and was unopposed.
Mark Gregory, who has served District 11, was returned with 1,079 votes, while 307 voters opted to write in an alternate candidate.
Voters in the Franklin Special School District elected Robert Blair with 1,502 votes, Alicia Spencer Barker with 1,345 votes and Melanie Hembree with 1,119 votes to the three seats on their school board. Blair and Hembree are returning board members. Barker takes the seat vacated by Kent McNish who opted not to run again after having served since 1994.
Publisher Derby Jones contributed to this story.
Posted on: 8/9/2012