Calloway County votes red in midterms

Unofficial election results outline incumbent wins, locals vote ‘yes’ to rejected amendments


Voters at the CFSB Center line up out to the road on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8. (Dionte Berry/The News)

Emery Wainscott, Chief Copy Editor

Calloway County voters reelected Mayor Bob Rogers for his second term, while welcoming a newcomer to the Murray Independent School Board.

Residents reported long lines at the six voting locations in Calloway County on Tuesday. This year’s voting also included three days of early voting last week. Voter turnout stood at 37.3%. 

In the mayor’s race, Rogers won with 67.37% of the vote to challenger Clifton Darnell 32.63%. Rogers and Darnell could not be reached for comment late Tuesday night.

In the Murray City Council race, newcomers Bonnie Higginson, Terry Strieter and John “Joe” Darnall were elected to city council. Incumbents Monty McCuiston, Alice Rouse, Danny Hudspeth, Linda Cherry, Jeremy Bell, Johnny Bohannon, Rose Ross Elder, Wesley Bolin and John Mark Roberts were reelected.

The Murray Independent school board race attracted five candidates for three slots. Incumbents Gina Winchester and Shawn Smee were reelected, and first-time candidate Robyn Pizzo took the third spot.

“I feel very excited,” Pizzo said. “I worked really hard. I met so many incredible people in our community, and I’m so excited to represent them on our school board.”

Pizzo said her win shows a different kind of person can get involved in local politics.

“I’m the youngest person running for the school board and so I’m excited to see a new generation of people coming into leadership,’’ Pizzo said. “It means a lot to me to be there for the youth in our community. They’re so inspiring to me, and I want to make sure that their voices are heard too on the school board.” 

Smee said he’s excited to serve a new term alongside Winchester and Pizzo.

“Coming off of several years of working with COVID, I’m excited to see what the new plan of work is,” Smee said. “We have great things going on in and outside of the classroom, and we’re excellent at finding spaces for our students to succeed.

Smee said one of his main concerns is making sure students are fed.

“When students are hungry, they can’t concentrate, they can’t participate and they can’t excel in the classrooms,” Smee said. “That’s one of the big things for me.”

Democrat Antonia Faulkner was reelected county clerk over Republican challenger James “Mike” Tinsley.

“I appreciate all the people that not only turned out to vote for me but also to vote for the other candidates,” Faulkner said. “It was exciting to see the lines of people waiting to vote on this beautiful day in Calloway County. Everything went very smoothly.”

Faulkner said she and her board will get together and review the election and compare it to what they did in the primary election in May. 

Sheriff Nicky Knight was reelected with 68.5% of the vote over challenger Danny Williams 31.46%.

Knight dedicated his victory to late Calloway County Chief Deputy Jody Wayne Cash. Cash was killed in a shooting in Marshall County on May 16. 

“He always wanted to help people,” Knight said. “When he helped somebody, nobody knew except that person. When he passed away, I received so many calls from people saying how he changed their lives.”

In terms of the sheriff’s department, Knight said he likes where the county is heading and is ready to move the county forward.

County Attorney K. Bryan Ernstberger was reelected at 73.18% over Madison Leach 26.82%. This will be Ernstberger’s third term.

Ernstberger said he is excited to continue in his position and plans to make an emphasis on child support collection in the coming term. 

Kenneth L. Claud, incumbent, won jailer at 51.7% over William Lamb. Claud said he would focus on expanding the state inmate holdings, improving the work program for inmates and giving his deputy jailers a pay raise. 

In the 42nd Circuit Court judge race, incumbent Jamie Jameson received 51.41% of the Calloway County vote to challenger Andrea Moore’s 48.59%. However, the district also includes Marshall County. In total, Moore received 11,269 votes to Jameson’s 9,942 and won the seat. 

Moore said she was excited to get started on her platform.

“I’d like to remain impartial,” Moore said. “I wanna treat people with respect.”

Voters in Calloway County picked incumbent Republican Rand Paul for the U.S. Senate seat at 66.84% of the vote, with Democrat Charles Booker at 33.16%. Paul won reelection for a third term, winning the election statewide.

Calloway County voters chose incumbent Republican James Comer for the U.S. House seat at 70.48%. Comer won the race statewide.

Amendment 1 was voted “yes” at 50.75%. This amendment would allow legislators to call special sessions without consulting with the governor. However, the state rejected the amendment with 53.6% voting “no” at 89% reporting, according to the Associated Press.

Amendment 2 was voted “yes” at 52.22%. This would declare nothing in the state Constitution protects a right to abortion. The state showed a different result—-the amendment was rejected with 52.5% voting “no” at 90% reporting, according to the Associated Press.

In other races:

Republican Mary Beth Imes was reelected for 5th district state representative.

Shea Nickell was reelected justice of the First District Supreme Court.

Chris McNeill was reelected for first district appellate judge for the Court of Appeals (first division).

Donna Dixon was reelected for first district appellate judge for the Kentucky Court of Appeals (second division).

Stephanie Judy Perlow was reelected for 42nd circuit judge for family court (second division).

Randall Hutchens was reelected for 42nd district judge.

Jay Housden was elected for the board of education in the first educational district.

Scott Lowe was elected for the board of education in the third education district.

Don Cherry was elected for the third district magistrate.

Tim Stone was elected for the third district constable.

Paul Rister was elected for the fourth district magistrate.

Ricky Garland was elected for coroner.

Christopher Bradley Jones was elected for county surveyor.

Ricky Stewart was elected for the first magisterial district.

Jedediah “Levi” Lamb was elected for first district constable.

Larry Crutcher was elected for the second district magistrate.

Joseph Swarthout was elected for the second district constable.

Writers Ben Overby, Grace Boatwright, Mason Galemore and Noah Crum contributed to this report. They are enrolled in JMC 397 In-Depth Reporting and covered the election as a class assignment.