Runoffs coming in chancery Whittington barely trails Hardy in vote

Published 11:45 am Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A runoff will break a near-deadlock in the Republican primary for chancery clerk, while primary winners cruised to victory in two other countywide races, for circuit clerk and tax assessor.

Donna Farris Hardy, a retired health care administrator, edged City Accountant Doug Whittington by a margin of 46.59 percent to 45.46 percent, and the two are expected to face off in an Aug. 23 runoff. Dawn Cain Barnes, a dental hygienist, finished a distant third, with 7.78 percent.

Results from absentee and affidavit ballots were expected today. Tabulated statements from local Republican and Democratic executive committees showing the total party votes cast are to be turned in to the Secretary of State’s Office by Aug. 12.

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Overall, 8,859 ballots were cast Tuesday in Warren County, or about 29 percent of the county’s registered voters, up from about 27 percent in the 2007 primaries.

Hardy, 56, won 11 of Warren County’s 22 precincts and edged Whittington, 37, by 60 votes in the GOP-heavy Culkin district, the county’s largest. Whittington’s largest win was in the Beechwood precinct, by 35 votes.

Both acknowledged the short road to the runoff election and pledged an aggressive campaign for a spot on a crowded Nov. 8 general election ballot.