Voter turnout in county well above statewide totals
Bruce Alsobrook | News-Telegram Editor

When the News-Telegram tried to contact Hopkins County Clerk Debbie Shirley about Tuesday's election, a deputy clerk said the county's top election official was taking "a well-deserved rest." 

And with good reason. For a non-presidential year election, Tuesday's was about as busy as they get.

A total of 8,566 of the county's 21,508 registered voters turned out for the general election in Hopkins County this year. That's 39.83 percent, a pretty healthy number in an off-year election. Hopkins County's turnout was also better than the statewide figure of 33.62 percent.

A few other notable facts about Tuesday's election in Hopkins County:

n A little less than one-third (29.5 percent) of all who participated in the county cast straight party votes. More Democrats (1,323) voted the straight party ticket than Republicans (1,170). Two years ago, GOP voters cast 56.6 percent of the straight party vote, Democrats 42.5 percent. This time around, it was Democrats 52.38 percent, Republicans 46.32.  Also, 33 people voted the straight Libertarian Party ticket. 

n The race that generated the most interest was for governor, with 98.86 percent of those voting making a choice among the four candidates (not including James "Patriot" Dillon, who got one write-in vote). The least interest? That would be the battle for Supreme Court Justice, Place 6, between Republican Nathan Hecht and Libertarian Todd Phillipi. Only 70.09 percent of the voters made a selection in that race.

n The most popular vote-getter among the contested races in Hopkins County was State Sen. Bob Deuell. The Greenville physician pulled in 82.43 percent of the votes in his race against Libertarian candidate Dennis Kaptain.

n Poll watchers in Hopkins County could have turned in early Tuesday if they just wanted to know who would be the winner. In every local race, the candidate who received the most early votes — the first box counted — was the ultimate winner, and percentages varied by only a few points at most from the eventual outcome.

n The race between Treva Watson and Cheryl Fulcher was the closest in the county, with Watson prevailing by a 425-vote margin, 4,369 to 3,944. But the race was even closer inside the Sulphur Springs city limits. At the eight polling places in the city, Watson was ahead by only 167 votes — 2,617 to 2,450, or 51.6 percent to 48.4 percent.

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