Election 2012: Candidates visit for final pitches

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Congressional hopefuls visit for meet-and-greets

By Todd Martin

Several candidates are making last-minute stops in Shelby County as the Tuesday’s Primary Election closer on the calendar.


Three congressional candidates – Democrat Bill Adkins and Republicans Alecia Webb-Edgington and Walter Schumm – were in town Thursday, following Republican Gary Moore, who stopped by  Wednesday.

Adkins was getting a tour through town from Shelby County Clerk Sue Carole Perry, a fellow Democrat, and Webb-Edgington and Schumm were at the Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Gallrein Farms after a few other stops.

Moore held a roundtable with at the Shelby County Farm Bureau Office.

Voters will have choices when they hit the polls, despite Kentucky’s being an afterthought in the Republican presidential primary.

But both parties have choices in the U.S. Congress District 4 election, with seven Republicans vying to face off against one of two Democrats. The election became wide-open when 4-term Republican Geoff Davis decided not to run for re-election.

Democrats living within the city of Shelbyville have another race calling for their attention with seven Democrats running for 6-person Shelbyville City Council.

Typically there is no primary for the council, but because there are more Democrats who have filed than the number of available seats, the one earning the least primary votes will be left off the ballot for November, which also will include five Republicans.

However, despite having options and other races, many expect Shelby County and the rest of the commonwealth to have a very low voter turnout.

Shelby County Clerk Sue Carole Perry said that one good indication of voter turnout is absentee votes.

“I expect a really, really, really low turnout,” Perry said. “Before our precinct workers submitted their absentee votes, we only had about thirty. For a normal election, we’ll have about three hundred.”

That low turnout could mean very slim margins in the congressional races, especially on the Republican side.

Although the numbers of Republicans has continued to rise in the county, Democrats still make up 53.3 percent of the more than 27,000 registered voters. With only 39.7 percent of the voters registered Republicans and no reason to vote in the presidential primary, the congressional race  likely will be very, very close in the county.

The Democrats will probably see a similar result, with no presidential primary – although a vote could be cast for “uncommitted” instead of for incumbent Barack Obama – and just two candidates in the congressional race.


No polling changes

With the 2010 Census came redistricting in Kentucky, which moved Shelby from the 2nd Congressional District and Rep. Brett Guthrie to the 4th District and it’s election this year. The county now lumped in with Oldham, is part of Jefferson, Henry, Trimble and up the Ohio River to Northern Kentucky and Boone and Kenton counties all the way east to Green and a portion of Boyd counties.

Although that is a big geographic change, the local precinct lines won’t see any changes this year even though they were scheduled to be redrawn.

Shelby County’s magisterial districts are frozen until state legislatures and the court can work out new state legislative districts.

“We worked our rear-ends off getting this [redistricting] done by the deadline,” Perry said. “I was on my way to Frankfort with them when they called and said they didn’t want them.

“We can’t change our magisterial districts until they reach an agreement on the state districts. We’re in limbo now, but we’re ready when they are.”

Primary Election

When: Tuesday, polls are open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Races: Democrat – 4th congressional district, Shelbyville City Council; Republican — President, 4th congressional district

More information: See a list of candidates and profiles on A5.

Questions about where to vote:Call 633-4410.