Fulton County voters:
Fulton County voters said yes to their fire departments but no to 9-1-1 in Tuesday's elections.
A half-cent sales tax narrowly passed, 1,756 votes (53 percent) to 1,559 (47 percent), to provide additional funding for the county's volunteer fire departments.
But voters soundly rejected an increase in the surcharge on telephone bills to upgrade the county's 9-1-1 system from basic to enhanced. The vote was 1,008 for (30 percent) to 2,374 against (70 percent).
For Fulton County justice of the peace in District 2, Democrat Walter Dillinger easily defeated Republican Lori Benedict by a vote of 275 (79 percent) to 71 (21 percent).
In Sharp County, Democratic incumbent Harold Crawford handily defeated independent challenger J.R. Murphy in Tuesday's election. Crawford received 4,360 votes (71 percent) to Murphy's 1,762 (29 percent). Crawford's win marked the end of a long campaign year for Crawford, who defeated Democratic opponent Wayne Long, Murphy's nephew, in the May Democratic primary.
"The electorate have spoken and I think they've sent a good message to the people of Sharp County," said Crawford. "I'm pleased with the JP races and think we will have a good quorum court to work with."
Crawford said the result of this election was close to the percentages he predicted on a sheet of paper he hid in his desk drawer. Crawford showed Murphy receiving 28 percent of the vote. Murphy actually received 28.78 percent.
He said, "I didn't even show my wife my prediction."
In the only other countywide race, incumbent Democrat Jeff Qualls held off a challenge from Republican challenger Doug Wortham in the race for county coroner. Qualls received 3,940 votes (64 percent) to Wortham's 2,180 (36 percent).
Cherokee Village voters will go to the polls again Nov. 26 for two runoff races. Incumbent Mayor Marjorie Rogers will face challenger Ray Maynard, the city road superintendent, in a runoff election. Rogers captured 939 votes (45 percent) to Maynard's 914 (44 percent). A third candidate, Tim Randall, captured just 208 votes in the race.
Darrell Kehrli (I) and Dick Sackett (R) will also be in a runoff for justice of the peace in District 2 (Cherokee Village). Kherli and Sackett each received 314 votes (37 percent) in a four-candidate race. Two other independents, Les Adam and James Thomas, both independents, split the remainder of the vote.
In other contested races on the Sharp County Quorum Court incumbent JP Marc Goings (D) received 489 votes (66 percent) to defeat challenger Carol Dunaway (I) (256 votes, 34 percent) in District 1.
Incumbent JP Greg Prenger (D) got 500 votes (67 percent) to defeat Patricia Wattenbarger (D) (245 votes, 33 percent) in District 3.
Dennis Burton (D) defeated Conway Spurlock (I) in District 4 by a vote of 597 (65 percent) to 318 (35 percent) for an open seat vacated by JP Wayne Long who challenged Sharp County Judge Harold Crawford in the Democratic primary election.
Challenger Arnold Kunkel defeated incumbent JP Marvin Cossey 400 votes (69 percent) to 178 (31 percent) in District 7. Justices of the peace in the remainder of the districts were unopposed.
Hardy Mayor Louie Seibert edged challenger Robert Gilliland. Seibert received 171 votes (54 percent) to Gilliland's 148 (46 percent). These totals do not include Fulton County voters in Hardy. The two candidates split the Fulton votes with 3 apiece.
But Ash Flat voters rejected incumbent Mayor Pepper Martin's bid for re-election, electing Alderman Brien Nix Hall to replace him. Hall received 226 votes (62 percent) to Martin's 141 (38 percent).
Incumbent Highland Mayor David Shackelford will serve another two years after narrowly defeating Billy Lowe 225 votes (51 percent) to 212 (49 percent).
On the Cherokee Village City Council, challenger Jim West defeated incumbent Alderman Jack Stroup 1,267 (67 percent) to 618 (33 percent) for Ward 2, Position 2. But Alderman Ray Torbit held off a challenge from Eugene "Gene" VanDeman, 1,334 votes (71 percent) to 549 (29 percent). Tom Thompson, incumbent Alderman Charles Bartlett, W.D. "Wally" Shultz, Russ Stokes, James Fenton and incumbent Alderman Scott Paul were all unopposed.
Ray Maynard's wife, Susan, was unopposed in her bid for re-election as clerk/treasurer.
Cherokee Village voters also narrowly passed an ordinance to stagger the terms of aldermen. The issue passed 1,022 (51 percent) to 968 (49 percent).
Hardy voters will also return to the polls Nov. 26 for a runoff between incumbent Alderman Bobby Higginbottom and challenger Jack Huffmaster Jr. The two candidates emerged in a three-way race that also included Greg Bess. Higginbottom received 122 votes (38 percent) to Huffmaster's 116 (36 percent). Higginbottom received 5 votes in the Fulton County portion of Hardy to Huffmaster's 1.
Incumbent Alderman Ralph DePriest defeated challenger Chad Wiles 194 votes (61 percent) to 122 (39 percent). DePriest received 5 votes in Fulton County, Wiles 1.
Incumbent Alderman Joe Halbach, Bruce Jones, incumbent Alderman Debi Evans and Raymond Hicks were all unopposed for the council.
On the Highland City Council Clyde Fisher defeated Jennie Eash 230 (56 percent) to 183 (44 percent). Former Mayor Bob Vance defeated incumbent Alderman William Frolow 305 (72 percent) to 120 (28 percent).
Incumbent Alderman Geraldine "Jeri" Johnson fell to challenger Shawn Reed 247 (59 percent) to 173 (41 percent). Incumbent Alderman Taryn Duncan held off a challenge from Cletus Wiles, winning 238 (55 percent) to 193 (45 percent).
Incumbent Highland Aldermen Danny Taylor, David Harris, Denise Gibbons and Vicki Brink were all unopposed.
In Ash Flat incumbent Alderman Joe Cotham fell to challenger Scott Brewer by a vote of 224 (62 percent) to 138 (38 percent). Mack Thompson defeated Jerry Branscum 226 (63 percent) to 134 (37 percent).
Carolyn Stewart ran unopposed for the position vacated by Brien Nix Hall. Incumbent councilmen Jerrell Lesley, Darrell Carpenter and Marty Goodwin were all unopposed.
Sharp County Clerk Tommy Estes said this year's general election turned out a record number of voters for a non-presidential election year. Estes said over 800 residents voted early, which is considerably higher than the average. He attributed the record-breaking number to the heated municipal races this year.
In Hardy incumbent Alderman Bobby Higginbottom was re-elected in a three-way race against Jack Huffmaster Jr. and Greg Bess. Incumbent Alderman Ralph DePriest defeated challenger Chad Wiles. Incumbent Alderman Joe Halbach, Bruce Jones, incumbent Alderman Debi Evans and Raymond Hicks were all unopposed.
On the Highland City Council Jennie Eash defeated Clyde Fisher, Bob Vance defeated incumbent Alderman William Frolow, incumbent Alderman Geraldine "Jeri" Johnson defeated Shawn Reed, incumbent Alderman Taryn Duncan defeated Cletus Wiles. Incumbent Aldermen Danny Taylor, David Harris, Denise Gibbons and Vicki Brink were all unopposed.
In Ash Flat incumbent Alderman Joe Cotham fell to challenger Scott Brewer, and Mack Thompson defeated Jerry Branscum. Carolyn Stewart ran unopposed for the position vacated by Brien Nix Hall. Incumbent councilmen Jerrell Lesley, Darrell Carpenter and Marty Goodwin who were all unopposed.
Sharp County Clerk Tommy Estes said this year's general election turned out a record number of voters for a non-presidential election year. Estes said over 800 residents voted early, which is considerably higher than the average. He attributed the record-breaking year to the heated municipal races.