EDMONTON — Lonnie Hodges, who ran as a write-in candidate after not being selected by the local Republican Party to seek the office, was elected Tuesday to continue serving as Metcalfe County's sheriff.
He won the race with 36.11 percent of the vote. He defeated Democrat Allen Huffman and Republican Charles Costello along with five other write-in candidates.
“I'm a little surprised. Coming in as a write-in, you've got an uphill battle. I guess we proved that it can be done,” Hodges said upon learning he had won the race.
He received a hug from his girlfriend, Samantha Saltsman, and from former Metcalfe County Sheriff Ricky Brooks' widow, Mindy.
Hodges also said he's happy for his deputies.
“They worked all year through Ricky's health. They didn't know if they would be here from month-to-month and they hung in there as the saying goes like a hair in a biscuit. I'm proud of them. We are pretty satisfied with this. It's not a knock on anybody else who ran. We tried and we pulled it off, so congratulations to these guys,” Hodges said.
Hodges was one of six people who ran as write-in candidates for the position. The county clerk's office had to verify 2,200 signatures.
“It's been very tiring. It's been a long day,but we are really glad that we are finished with it and we got it all done tonight. We were able to get the results as early as we did. We weren't sure when we saw we had 2,200 we weren't sure we would not be here until longer, so we are really happy we got it done pretty quickly,” said Metcalfe County Clerk Carol Chaney.
This election was the first time since Chaney has been in office where there have been six write-in candidates for one race. Typically, there is only one or two write-in candidates, she said.
Voter turnout was almost 51 percent.
Hodges was appointed as sheriff in early August, filling a vacancy left by the death of former Metcalfe County Sheriff Ricky Brooks.
Brooks died from leukemia on Aug. 3. Prior to his death, Hodges had been serving as acting sheriff in the nine months that Brooks was battling cancer.
Hodges will serve three years, before having to seek election to the sheriff's position again.
Results of statewide races for Metcalfe County are:
Governor: Bevin-R, 2,264 votes, or 58.65 percent of the vote; Beshear-D, 1,495 votes or 38.7 percent of the vote.
Secretary of State: Henry-D, 1,403 votes, or 38.38 percent; Adams-R, 2,253 votes or 61.62 percent.
Attorney General: Cameron-R, 2,486, or 67.28 percent; Stumbo-D, 1,209 votes, or 32.72 percent.
Agriculture Commissioner: Quarles-R, 2,379 votes, or 67 percent; Conway-D, 1,032 votes, or 29.06 percent.
Auditor: Harmon-R, 2,202 votes, or 64.29 percent; Donahue-D, 1,099 votes, or 32.09 percent.
Treasurer: Ball-R, 2,484 votes, or 69.19 percent; Bowman-D, 1,106 votes, or 30.81 percent.