After the unofficial results of the election were posted online by the Sullivan County Election Commission, Ramsey said she was thankful for the voters’ support and a bit surprised at her margin of victory. But with her victory coming just a couple of weeks after the death of her mother, Ramsey said it also was a bittersweet moment because “my biggest fan in my life isn’t here.”
Of the 92,827 registered Sullivan County voters who were eligible to cast ballots Tuesday, only 14,582 did so, according to the unofficial results. And only 12,672 of those voted in the five-way race for trustee — in essence, the county’s treasurer. Ramsey took 26.29 percent of the vote. Her nearest opponent, with 20.18 percent, was Angela Taylor. Matthew Jerry Johnson received 19.04 percent, Jack Young received 17.81 and Terri Miller Hurd received 16.68.
“I know that she knows,” Ramsey said of her mother. “Even at the hospital she’d tell me, ‘Don’t be here when you’re supposed to be somewhere else,’ and I’d tell her everything was going to work out. I am tickled to death. And I am in shock. I did everything honest and straightforward and with love and kindness in my heart. I knew I was going to be blessed no matter which way it went. I am excited and happy. I’ve dedicated 34 years of my life to Sullivan County. And it gets in your blood. I’m not a politician. I’m a person who loves people. It grows in you and you care about what goes on. It just drives me. It’s not just a job to me.”
The five-way race for circuit court clerk drew 12,430 voters. Russell took 29.05 percent for the win. Travis Ward received 25.85 percent, Karen Forgety received 24.74, Bruce A. Bullis received 12.23 and Lional J. Mallicote received 8.13.
Other races decided in the GOP primary
In the District 3 commission race, with one seat available, voters sent incumbent Commissioner Bob Neal home (with 35.93 percent) in favor of Andrew K. Cross (with 64.07 percent).
In the District 9 commission race, with two seats available, voters ousted incumbent Commissioner Kit McGlothlin (with 30.23 percent of the vote), and elected newcomers Kingsport Alderman Colette George (with 35.76 percent) and Doug Woods (with 34.02).
In the District 10 commission race, with two seats available, voters re-elected incumbent Commissioner Larry Crawford (with 27.56 percent of vote), and elected newcomer Gary Stidham (with 20.72 percent), sending incumbent Commissioner Bill Kilgore home (with 19.93 percent of the vote).
Assessor of Property: Donna K. Whitaker won the GOP nomination with 50.49 percent of the vote. Jack L. Ryan received 25 percent and Brian Malone received 24.5. As the Republican primary winner, Whitaker will face independent Jerry M. Sorrell in the county general election in August.
County Clerk: Deputy County Clerk Teresa L. Jacobs handily won the GOP nomination with 48.29 percent of the vote. Cheryl Russell received 22.32 percent, former county mayor Steve Godsey (who had asked that his name be removed from the ballot, but did so too late to legally have it removed) received 18.42 percent, and Howard “Sonny” Baker received 10.98 percent. As winner of the Republican primary, Jacobs will face the Democratic nominee, Deputy County Clerk Jane Davis, in the general election. Davis was unopposed in the Democratic primary on Tuesday.
Circuit Court Judge William K. Rogers, County Mayor Richard Venable, County Commissioner (1st District) Randy Morrell, Register of Deeds Sheena Ramsey Tinsely, and County Attorney Dan Street had no opposition in the Republican primary.
Venable will go on to face independent candidate Gerald Sensabaugh Jr. in the general election. The others have no opposition from Democrats or Independents in August.
In the 2nd District, with three seats: Republican primary winners were newcomer David Akard III with 33.5 percent, newcomer Mark A. Hutton with 33.74, and incumbent Commissioner Mark A. Vance with 32.76. Democratic primary winners were newcomers: David L. Chapman with 56.4 percent, and Adam Casto with 43.6.
In the 4th District with three seats: Republican primary winners were incumbent Commissioner Michael B. Cole, with 19.33 percent, newcomer Tony Leonard with 18.36, and newcomer Joyce Neal Crosswhite with 17.91. Voters sent incumbent Commissioner Mack Harr home with 13.4 percent of the vote.
In the 5th District, with two seats: Republican primary winners were former commissioner Dwight King with 32.7 percent of the vote and newcomer Hershel Glover with 31.14. Voters ousted incumbent Commissioner Sherry Grubb with 24.81 percent of the vote.
In the 6th District, with three seats: Republican primary winners were incumbent Commissioner Terry Harkleroad with 19.93 percent of the vote, former Sullivan County Board of Education member Todd Broughton with 19.21 percent and newcomer Judy Blalock with 18.53 percent. Voters sent incumbent Commissioner Mark Bowery home with 17.04 percent of the vote. The Democratic primary winner was newcomer James W. (Bill) Jones, with 100 percent of the 78 votes cast.
In the 7th District, with two seats: Republican primary winners were incumbent Commissioner Angie Stanley with 35.46 percent of the vote and former commissioner Sam Jones with 25.23 percent. Voters sent incumbent Commissioner Baxter Hood home with 19.36 percent of the vote. The Democratic primary winner was Lori Love, with 100 percent of the 65 votes cast.
In the 8th District, with two seats: Republican primary winners were incumbent Commissioner Darlene Calton with 29.81 percent of the vote, and newcomer Alicia D. Starnes with 26.85 percent.
In the 11th District, with three seats: Republican primary winners were newcomer Hunter Michael Locke with 34.25 percent of the vote, incumbent Commissioner Pat Shull with 34.2 percent and incumbent Commissioner John Gardner with 31.55 percent.
The County General Election is August 2.