The race for Cumberland City Council garnered the most interest as 17 citizens filed to serve on the council.
Those elected to serve on the Cumberland City Council were Rhonda Forester, Jerry Gilliam, Yvonne Gilliam, Carl Hatfield, Norma Bowyer, Eugene Stagnolia and Kateena Haynes. Bowyer, Stagnolia and the Gilliams were re-elected.
“I am looking forward to the next two years and getting a lot accomplished,” Cumberland Mayor Loretta Cornett said. “I am happy about the election and can work with anyone. I want to see accomplishments, and I think we will. We will be OK. We are going to work hard. I am very happy for those that were elected.”
Cornett said she is pleased with the amount of interest generated by the election.
“It is good for people to get involved in politics,” she said. “Everyone should be involved in politics and vote.”
Harlan County Sheriff Marvin Lipfird said there were two reported incidents concerning the Cumberland City Council election.
“There was some confusion over where some signs could be placed, and there was a complaint regarding a letter that was being circulated about several of the candidates,” said Lipfird.
Lipfird added that an investigation is ongoing regarding the circulated letter.
Brenda Henson won her third term on the Harlan County School Board as she defeated challenger Larry “Bun” Grubbs 1,179 votes to 462 votes in the District 1 race.
Henson said she is pleased to have the opportunity to serve another term on the school board.
“Serving on the school board has been really important to me. After eight years on the school board, I think the people have got to know me and know that I care about our children,” she said. “Being a former teacher, I love being involved in the education process.”
Other incumbent school board members, Gary Farmer in District 2 and Myra Mosley in District 3, were unopposed in their respective races.
In another local race, Republican Aaron Whitehead was elected to serve as the constable for District 1. Whitehead said he is happy to have the opportunity to fill the seat that was held for many years by the late Joe Howard.
“I consider it an honor to be able to take Joe’s spot. I have worked at the police department since 2004, and it has always interested me,” said Whitehead. “I look forward to serving the people of the county.”
Other newly elected city councils include:
Benham City Council: Gary Creech, Howard White, Eddie Creech, George Massey, Doug Robinson and Ruthie Wilson.
Lynch City Council: Bennie Massey, Hal Woods, John Adams, Anne Carr, Carl Collins and Carl Obradovich.
Evarts City Council: Jacqueline Renfro, Paul White, Preston McLain, Larry Caudill, Wilburn Pryor and Ernie Woodard.
Harlan City Council: Jeff Phillips, Charles Stephenson, Gail Murray, Lisa Adkisson, M.G. Smith, C.D. Morton and Grady Lee.
Loyall City Council: Mike Hall, Elvin Smith, Anne Dean McFarland, Sherry Skidmore Harrison, James Hagy and Kenneth Colinger.
In the United States presidential race, Republican John McCain easily won the county with 7,165 votes. McCain was followed by Democrat Barack Obama, who had 2,586 votes.
In the hotly contested race for the United States Senate, Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell received 5,229 votes in the county with Democratic challenger Bruce Lunsford receiving 4,440.