Clay County Election final totals

Tuesday, November 6, 2012 ~ Updated 8:43 AM
Deanna McKenney and Yvonne Dodd greeted voters at the Rector Community Center throughout Election Day.

Local voter turnout was relatively light for the 2012 General Election Tuesday, Nov.6, thanks in part to a large number of early and absentee voters. Clay County Clerk Pat Poole reports that 1,181 early votes were cast at the courthouse in Piggott, while 776 cast their ballots at Corning. There were also 146 absentee ballots and eight military ballots cast in this election cycle.

The only local municipal race this year was for Rector Alderman, as incumbent Lavern "Mac" Manchester was re-elected over challenger Marvin Gatewood. The total votes in the race were 348 for Manchester and 186 for Gatewood.

The race for the State Senate seat from the 20th district was also contested, with incumbent Robert Thompson of Paragould facing a challenge from Alderman Blake Johnson of Corning. Voters in Clay County favored Johnson in the race, casting 2,278 votes for the challenger with 2,253 votes going to Thompson. Totals released this morning indicate the district-wide balloting, which includes all of Clay, Lawrence and Greene Counties along with the cities of Pocahontas and Brookland, favored Thompson by 330 votes.

Clay County voters favored incumbent Rick Crawford in the race for the First Congressional District seat. Crawford garnered 2,929 votes to 1,884 for challenger Scott Ellington. There were 101 votes for Jessica Paxton, of the Libertarian Party and 57 for Green Party candidate Jacob Holloway. Crawford won re-election to the seat by a fairly good margin. With 96-percent of the votes tallied he had 135,616 to 92,972 for Ellington.

In the race for associate judge, district one, position two, to sit on the Arkansas Court of Appeals it was Jeanette Robinson over Judge Phillip Whiteaker in Clay County by a vote of 2,278 to 2,073. But, Whiteaker carried the remainder of the region for the win.

Proposed Amendment One, concerning the sales tax for highway improvements, was favored by voters in Clay County by a vote of 3,081 to 1,751. The issue also was favored statewide, and was passed.

Proposed Amendment Two, concerning the issuance of sales tax bonds for economic development, was not favored by local voters as they cast 2,219 yes votes and 2,458 no votes on the issue. Statewide voters also rejected the measure.

Proposed Amendment Five, concerning the legalization of medical marijuana, was also not favored by the local electorate as it stood 2,107 for and 2,864 against passage of the measure. The issue vote was close, with around 51 percent no votes to 49 in favor of passage statewide.

Finally, Clay County favored Mitt Romney over Barack Obama and the other candidates in the presidential race. Romney polled 3,225 to Obama's 1,738. Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson garnered 99 votes, while 38 went to Green Party candidate Jill Stein and 10 votes were cast for Socialist Party candidate Peta Lindsay.

About the same time that the Clay County numbers were finalized the national media called the race, giving the nod to Obama. The president carried both the electoral college and popular vote, although the popular count was much closer than the electoral college vote.

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