After a lengthy night counting write-in votes to see who would serve on the Phelps County Emergency Services Board (PCESB) in District One of the county, two winners have been declared.
Ralph Hess received 67 votes and William Bleckman received 60. Hess and Bleckman were successfully elected as write-in candidates to serve four-year terms on the board.
Neither candidate could be reached Wednesday by press time.
In Tuesday’s general municipal election, there were four open seats on the PCESB. Two of the candidates elected to the board had to live in District One of the county.
Because nobody filed for the seats in District One, the winners were chosen by write-in votes.
There were a total of 507 write-in votes in District One, according to the county clerk’s website.
County Clerk Carol Bennett said there were approximately 170 different names cast as write-in votes for District One, but she said not all of the names qualified for several different reasons — the candidate lives in the wrong district or a name was unable to be identified.
The other two seats in District Two were won by incumbent Stephen Zap and newcomer Randy Barr, who unseated incumbent T.A. “Stoney” Byrne.
Another election Tuesday also was decided by write-in votes. No candidate filed to be mayor in Edgar Springs, so 12 write-in votes were cast in Tuesday’s election.
The mayor is a two-year term position in Edgar Springs.
Incumbent Mayor Kurt Ross received the most with eight votes. In the April 2011 election, Ross received 27 votes.
Other candidates who received write-in votes were Jack Newman, two votes; David Killion, one; and Lawrence Sutton, one. Sutton won a seat on the Edgar Springs Fire Protection District Board of Trustees (see below).
In the race for the North Ward alderman seat in Edgar Springs, it appears Tuesday’s election resulted in a tie between the two candidates who filed — Amanda Melton and incumbent Georgia Lucas, who each received six votes.
There were no write-in votes in this race.
Bennett explained that state statutes allow for three possibilities to occur when a tie happens — one of the candidates may decline the seat and let the other candidate take the spot, a new election could be held at a cost to the city, or if both candidates agree, the winner can be drawn by lot, meaning their names would be placed in a hat and a winner would be drawn.
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In the South Ward, incumbent Caroline Dunham, the only candidate to file, received 19 votes. There was one write-in vote in this race.
Aldermen in Edgar Springs serve two-year terms.
Voters in the southern part of the county also voted for board of director races in two fire protection districts.
In the Edgar Springs Fire Protection District Board of Trustees election, Sutton, who was a write-in vote in the mayor race, was the only candidate to file for two open seats on the fire board. Sutton received 122 votes, or 74.85 percent.
The other candidate was chosen by write-in. Carla Crews appears to be the successful write-in candidate the second seat after receiving 29 votes. Other write-in candidates were Shelby Van Arkel, two votes; and Charles Harris, Gene Blake, Walter McCluskey and William Pankey, who each received one vote.
Voters in the Duke Rural Fire Protection District cast ballots for two open seats on the board of trustees. Wayne Strohschein, the only candidate to file in this race, got 14 votes in the Phelps County part of the district and 10 votes in the portion of the district that lies in Pulaski County.
The other candidate was chosen by write-in, but there is a tie between Randall Lane and Doug Henry, who each received two votes for the second seat. The tie can be decided using one of the three options mentioned above in the Edgar Springs alderman race.
In addition, Champlin Lane and Ken Schoonover each received one vote in the Duke Rural Fire Protection District board race. There was also one-write in vote cast in Pulaski County, but that vote is unknown at this time.