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Watts holds off challengers; Dems narrowly beat Republicans for fiscal court seats

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018 — Nelson County voters went to the polls in record numbers Tuesday as part of what can only be termed a historic mid-term election.

Nearly half — 49.36 percent — of the county’s 16,736 registered voters went to the polls to take part in Tuesday’s mid-term election — an election that traditional features low voter turnout.

From left, Dean Watts, Don Thrasher and Jack Hurst.

JUDGE EXECUTIVE. Incumbent Democrat Dean Watts held off two challengers to earn another four-year term as head of county government.

Watts received almost 52 percent of the votes, to the 38.1 percent of the votes cast for Republican Don Thrasher. Independent candidate Jack Hurst received 10 percent of the vote.

SHERIFF’S RACE. The race for Nelson County Sheriff featured very active and vigorous campaigns by Democrat Ramon Pineiroa and Republican Todd Harper. As the vote totals came in from the precincts to the county clerk’s office, each candidate scored precinct wins among vote totals. In the end, Pineiroa held on to win the race by a 406-vote lead.

CORONER. After a feisty campaign — and a confrontational televised debate — between Democrat incumbent Field Houghlin and Republican challenger Doug Alexander, Houghlin won every precinct in the county as he captured nearly 59 percent of the votes cast.

NELSON COUNTY CLERK. In the race for county clerk — a position that became open after current county clerk Elaine Filiatreau decided not to run again — Democrat and former deputy clerk Jeanette Hall Sidebottom received 60.55 percent of the vote to defeat Republican candidate Marion Kelly Pulliam’s 39.45 percent.

JAILER. Democrat John “Buck” Snellen, who toppled incumbent Jailer Dorcas Figg in the May primary, won the jailer’s race over James Beery with 61.5 percent of the vote. Snellen is a retired Bardstown Police officer who began his career as a deputy jailer. Beery is currently serving as a deputy jailer at the Nelson County Jail.

MAGISTRATE DISTRICT 3. Longtime incumbent Democratic Magistrate Bernard Ice defeated Republican challenger Phillip Bischoff by a slim 124-vote margin. Bischoff was the top vote-getter in the district’s two rural precincts — C103 and C105 — but Ice’s winning votes arrived from the district’s three remaining precincts — C101, C102 and C104.

MAGISTRATE DISTRICT 5. The race to fill the open magistrate seat to represent District 5 was decided by a margin of just 55 votes — the margin of victory for Democrat Eric Shelburne when the final votes were counted. Republican Trey Bradley had the winning vote totals for 3 of the district’s 5 precincts, but it wasn’t enough to counter Sherburne’s winning votes in the district’s other two precincts.

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