In his first run for political office, newcomer Jason Price has beat incumbent Fred White in the battle for division-two district judge in Whitley and McCreary counties by nearly 1,000 votes.
Price garnered 8,837 total votes to White’s 7,896 votes in Tuesday’s General Election.
Price admits that he was “absolutely” surprised by his margin of victory, and says he is ready to get to work to make a positive influence on both communities.
“It was basically hard fought by both campaigns,” Price said. “I am really pleased with the turnout and appreciate my supporters in both Whitley and McCreary counties.”
Price said he thinks one difference was the fact that he grew up here and has lived here all his life. Another was the hard work of his supporters.
“They were absolutely in the trenches fighting for every vote they could get,” he noted.
The division-two district judge vacancy was created when Daniel L. Ballou was elected as circuit judge last November.
On March 7, Gov. Steve Beshear appointed White as district judge until Tuesday’s General Election results are certified.
Price will take over as soon as the results are certified.
Whitley County Clerk Kay Schwartz said she expects the state board of elections to certify the results sometime within the next 10 to 14 days, although no official date has been set yet.
White admits that he is disappointed by the outcome of the election.
“I ran a good race. I did what I could do. I just got beat. He ran a good race too,” White noted. “I started way behind in this race and closed it up. I feel good about it. I wouldn’t rule out me running again in the future.”
Price carried both Whitley and McCreary counties in his election bid, but by substantially different margins.
He garnered 6,191 votes in Whitley County to White’s 6,036.
Price had a much greater margin in McCreary County with 2,646 votes to White’s 1,860.
Price won the four-way May Primary with 555 more votes than White.
In May, Price garnered 2,966 total votes to White’s 2,411 votes. Jane Butcher finished a close third with 2,401 total votes followed by Lee Gilbert with 1,220 votes.
In the Whitley County Primary, Price garnered 2,323 vote’s to White’s 1,881. Butcher received 1,527 votes and Gilbert 1,083 votes.
In McCreary County Primary, Butcher received 874 votes to Price’s 643. White received 530 votes and Gilbert 137 votes.
Tuesday’s election bucked a trend that has occurred in the last two contested primary elections for district judge locally, where the second place finisher in the May Primary has gone on to win the November General Election.
Nine years ago, David Burton finished second to Ben Davis in the primary, but won in November.
In 2002, incumbent Kimberly Frost Wilson won the primary election with Ballou finishing second.
Ballou went on to beat Wilson in the General Election by about 17 votes.
Price will serve out the remainder of the term, which expires Dec. 31, 2010.