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With only a slim margin of victory, former Owen County Judge-Executive Horace “Doug” West has defeated incumbent Owenton Mayor David “Milkweed” Wotier for the city’s top post.
With 277 votes for West and 263 for Wotier, the race was decided by only 14 votes.
West said he felt confident throughout his campaign.
“I figured it would be pretty close,” West said. “I didn’t know it would be this close, but I felt good about it the whole time.”
West said he has nothing against Wotier, but felt he could run city hall business more efficiently.
“(Wotier) ran a real good race,” West said. “He’s a good fellow but I think he just has too many jobs and city hall just wasn’t being run like it should. He really is a fine person though, and I’m not trying to take anything away from him.”
Wotier said after the results were in he received many phone calls from supporters.
“I got an awful lot of calls,” Wotier said. “I think I certainty had a lot of supporters. I ran a clean campaign, but I think between the social network websites that were filled with nothing but lies and some of the things that were said on the campaign trail really hurt me. I can say that my not winning had nothing to do with anything that I did. I think in the last two years we have moved this city ahead 30 years.”
When it became clear that West had won, Wotier said he wished him well.
“I’d just like to give a big thanks to all of my supporters,” Wotier said. “I love this city and this county and I love the people who live here ee* even the ones who didn’t support me. At this point I’m going to move forward and hold my head high.”
“I will wake up tomorrow morning, like I do every morning, and say, ‘This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it,’ ” Wotier said. “I think He has bigger and better plans for me.”
Wotier said he probably would not ask for a recount.
“Because it’s only one precinct, I don’t think I will ask,” Wotier said. “I will let the dust settle for a few days and then see how I feel.”
West said he has big plans for the city of Owenton.
“Like I said all throughout my campaign, I’m going to clean up Owenton,” West said. “We’re going to start enforcing the building code, improve the streets, and I want to work with the city council to try and get some new business in here. I appreciate all the votes I got and I hope I don’t disappoint anyone.”
The Owenton City Council will see two new members.
Gerald M. Powell and Tim Cammack each won a seat on the council.
Larry Dale Perry, Doris Riley, Robert “Bob” Osborne and Robert T. Walker will return to their seats on the council.
Incumbent Rita K. Osborne will not make a return to her seat.
In the fourth district magistrate race, Republican candidate Troy Bramblett defeated the Democratic incumbent Ray Smith.
“I’m just relieved that it’s over,” Bramblett said. “I’m real optimistic for this county now. We’ve got practically an all new fiscal court and I’m just pleased that now we’ll have the chance to move forward.”
Bramblett said he felt Smith ran a good race, but the two had different ideas when it came to county business.
“He (Smith) ran a really good race,” Bramblett said. “We’ve just got two separate sets of ideas, and I felt like if the majority of the people agreed with his (Smith’s), they would vote for him and if they agreed with mine they’d vote for me. We were friends before this race and I hope we’ll continue to be friends.”
Smith could not be reached for comment.
In the district one magistrate race, Democrat Asa Phillips defeated Republican Gary W. Minch.
Phillips could not be reached for comment.
Minch said he wished Phillips good luck.
Republican candidate Rand Paul carried Owen County in the United States Senate election and Republican Geoff Davis received the majority of Owen County’s votes for United States Representative.
Dr. Larry C. Johnson defeated Brian Clark and Deedi Dunavent by a landslide with 576 votes in the fourth district school board race. Dunavent received 175 and Clark 95 votes.
With 289 votes, Terry Patterson beat write-in candidate Nancy Chilton, who received 190 write-in votes.
At the Monterey Firehouse in district four, where voters were making their decision on who would take the magistrate seat, poll worker Judy Bourne said that as of 3:20 p.m., 43.5 percent of the district’s registered voters had passed through.
“We’ve been busy all day,” Bourne said. “The turnouts are always good here. I’d say it’s been at average or maybe a hair above.”
Bourne said due to long lines and only one voting machine, paper ballots had been more prevalent Tuesday.
Monica French, who voted Tuesday afternoon, said she was voting in hopes of helping Owen County move forward.
“It’s important for each and every citizen to vote,” French said. “Owen County is still a very small, quaint place to live and I love that. It’s one of the things that keeps me here. ... But at the same time, we need to move forward. I think more revenue needs to be brought into the county and more sustainability for our children’s future.”
Coleman Wilhoite said he came out to support a friend.
“One of the guys running for magistrate is a good friend of mine,” Wilhoite said. “I mainly came out to show my support for him, but I do vote every year.”
At the Owen County Courthouse, voters were standing in line before 6 a.m.
According to www.kentucky.com, some voting machines in Owen County had already switched to daylight saving time, so the time was an hour off.
Spokesman for the Secretary of State’s office, Les Fugate, said that the issue will be noted in the precinct reports and will not affect voting.
Owen County Clerk Joan Kincaid said 48 percent of Owen County’s eligible voters participated in this year’s general election.