BY SABRINA BATES
WEAKLEY COUNTY (November 3) – By the time the early voting period ended in Weakley County, 10,568 of the county’s 19,132 registered voters had already cast their ballot in Tuesday’s General Election. As the nation watched and waited to see who would be named the country’s next president, local candidates waited with anticipation to see if they had the favor of local voters in municipal and state races.
A contested race for the Tennessee House of Representatives District 76 seat saw two Weakley County opponents vying for the post which serves Weakley, Carroll and a portion of Obion counties. Tandy Darby, the Republican candidate from Greenfield earned the majority of votes at 9,942 against his opponent, Dresden Mayor Jeff Washburn, who sought the House seat as an Independent candidate.
Washburn picked up 3,163 Weakley County votes.
Current Representative Andy Holt announced earlier this year he would put a term limit on himself and not seek re-election to the position he held for 10 years.
A position as leader of the city in Gleason saw incumbent Diane Poole looking to retain her seat against challenger Charles Anderson. Anderson was the front runner with 440 total votes cast, while Poole had 172 votes.
The aldermen race in Gleason had eight candidates seeking four seats on the city council. Candidates and the number of votes they earned included Charles Bookout – 198 votes; Danny Browning – 417 votes; Wade Cook – 312 votes; James Mayor Hines – 116 votes; Tommy Hodges – 386 votes; Teresa Johnson – 147 votes; Cruz Legens – 307 votes and Keith Ray Radford – 342 votes.
Four candidates vied for a seat on Sharon’s city council as voters were asked to choose two to represent them. Incumbents Stewart Broussard and Wanda Hamlin were challenged by Austin Bond and Jesse Lee Doster. The incumbents retain their seats with Broussard earning 251 votes and Hamlin with 213 votes. Bond picked up 160 votes, while Doster had 161 votes.
Sharon Mayor Monroe Ary announced earlier this year he would not seek re-election, leaving his seat open on the ballot. Alderman Ali Stalter declared candidacy and was elected as Sharon’s first female mayor with 367 votes cast in her favor.
The City of Dresden had a close aldermen race as incumbents Willie Parker, Joyce Hurt and Kenneth Moore saw newcomer to the ballot, Ralph Cobb Jr. looking for a seat on the board. Dresden voters were asked to choose three of the four candidates.
Cobb was the vote leader with 863 votes. Moore had 709 votes and Parker picked up 704. Hurt had 167 votes.
In Greenfield, Mayor Cindy McAdams ran unopposed and picked up 762 votes. The city council will see a handful of new aldermen after Kelly Keylon had 670 votes and Chris Turbyville picked up 682 votes. Incumbents Donald Ray High earned 703 votes and James Roy Pope had 664 votes. Don Allen sought to fill the unexpired vacancy on the board and picked up 750 votes.
In the City of Martin municipal election, three alderman candidates retained their seats as they remained unchallenged in this election. They were Ward 1 alderman Danny Nanney, earning 1,406 votes; Ward 2 alderman Marvin Flatt, earning 918 votes and Ward 3 alderman Randy Edwards, earning 799 votes.
Republican Tennessee State Senator for District 24 John Stevens was re-elected to his position after results were announced Tuesday evening. Stevens was challenged by Independent candidate Yahweh Yahweh. In Weakley County, Stevens picked up 10,832 votes, while his opponent had 1,533 votes cast in his favor.
The District 8 Congressional race had incumbent Republican David Kustoff looking to retain his position. Kustoff was challenged by Democratic candidate Erika Stotts Pearson, who earned 2,664 votes in Weakley County. Kustoff had 10,273 votes. Independent candidates Jon Dillard earned 91 Weakley County votes while Independent candidate James Hart took 162 county votes.
Across the state, voters are still waiting to find out results for the U.S. Senate seat for the State of Tennessee. U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander said he would not seek re-election. Republican Bill Hagerty and Democrat Marquita Bradshaw were the top party contenders for the statewide position. In Weakley County, Hagerty received 10,115 votes, while Bradshaw received 2,678 votes.
On a national level, Republican President Donald Trump was challenged by Democratic contender and former Vice President Joe Biden for leader of the nation. With a record number of absentee, mail-in ballots cast this year, voters and candidates are still awaiting Presidential election results.
Trump swept Weakley County with 10,382 votes cast in his favor, while Biden had 3,011 countywide votes.
Independent candidate Jo Jorgensen carried 82 votes in Weakley County, while Kanye West picked up 111 votes.
All election results are unofficial until they are certified by the Weakley County Election Commission at the board’s upcoming meeting to be announced. A total of 13,887 voters, including early and absentee, cast ballots in Weakley County for Tuesday’s election.