By NATHAN GREGORY
An official 2012 presidential election summary shows 7,171 outlying Oktibbeha County voters cast their ballots on Nov. 6, while 10,945 city voters went to the polls.
Counting absentee and affidavit ballots, Oktibbeha County as a whole experienced a voter turnout of 18,284. That is 68.85 percent of the county’s 26,557 registered voters.
For the second presidential election in a row, a majority of the county voted Democratic for President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. This election, 9,095 were cast for the incumbent, while 8,761 were cast for Republican candidate Mitt Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan. Third party candidates Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, Virgil Goode and Barbara Dale Washer received minimal amounts of votes. Johnson, running on the Libertarian ticket with James P. Gray, received the most third party votes in the county with 168. Green Party candidate Stein and running mate Cheri Honkala received 48 votes, while Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode and running mate Jim Clymer received 40. Reform party candidate Washer and running mate Cathy L. Toole received five votes.
Obama carried outlying county precincts and city precincts with 3,616 and 5,479 votes respectively.
While the presidential race went to the Democrats in the county, the U.S. Senate race did not. With 8,163 total votes, Albert N. Gore fell more than 1,000 votes shy of incumbent Roger Wicker, who had 9,184 votes. Wicker carried both outlying county and inner city precincts with 3,600 and 5,584 votes respectively. Out of 21 total precincts, Gore was able to carry Bell Schoolhouse, Central Starkville, Gillespie, Maben, North Starkville District 2, Oktoc, Osborn and Sessums precincts. He lost the Hickory Grove/Southeast precinct to Wicker by one vote. Wicker had 518 votes to Gore’s 517.
Third party U.S. Senate candidates Thomas Cramer (Constitution) and Shawn O’Hara (Reform) received total countywide votes of 204 and 120 respectively.
Republicans running for U.S. House of Representatives First and Third Congressional District also carried a majority in Oktibbeha County. First Congressional District incumbent Alan Nunnelee only carried one of the five precincts in which he was running, but his overwhelming majority over Democratic challenger Brad Morris in the Sturgis/North Bradley district was enough to earn him a 753-582 win. Recent redistricting in the state placed that precinct as well as Bell Schoolhouse, Maben, Center Grove/North Adaton and Craig Springs/South Bradley in District 1.
Third Congressional District incumbent Gregg Harper soundly defeated Reform Party challenger John “Luke” Pannell 9,698-3,618 in the other 16 precincts.
Northern District Supreme Court Candidate District 3 Josiah Dennis Coleman defeated Richard “Flip” Phillips in that race 9,027-5,402.
Four of the five election commissioner races were unopposed, meaning District 2 Commissioner Sissy Smitherman, District 3 Commissioner Myles Carpenter, District 4 Commissioner Joe Baker and District 5 Commissioner Bettye Ford retained their posts.
Judith “Judy” Goodman challenged incumbent Steven “Greg” Fulgham in District 1 but lost by more than 500 votes. Fulgham had 1,892 votes to Goodman’s 1,383.