HAZARD – Former Commonwealth’s Attorney John Hansen is a step closer to gaining another term in office, but to do so he’ll have to gain a general election victory over incumbent Teresa Reed, who won in convincing fashion during Tuesday’s primary election.
Reed won her first term as commonwealth’s attorney in the 2006 election, and handily defeated challenger Chris Paul in the Democratic Primary on Tuesday. The count as of press time Tuesday evening had Reed garnering 1,408 votes, with Paul receiving 761 votes.
The Republican primary was a bit closer, with Hansen gaining the nomination over Cordell “Buddy” Williams. Hansen had 382 votes by Tuesday evening, while Williams took in 266 votes.
Tuesday’s results set up a general election in November that pits the county’s past two commonwealth’s attorneys, neither of whom have lost a race for that office. Hansen voluntarily left office in 2006, and undertook an unsuccessful run for mayor of Hazard.
Hansen said Tuesday evening that he is thankful for the support in his latest victory, some of which he said came from Democrats supporting his candidacy during the days before the election, and that was key in his victory because it allowed Republican voters to know that he would have support from across the aisle come November.
“Republicans want to see that their candidate is going to have support from the other side,” he said.
“I just want to thank everybody that supported me,” Hansen added, “and I will be out and a lot more involved this time.”
Reed, who garnered the highest vote total in the election, said she was “humbled” by her victory on Tuesday, and is looking forward to November. She added that of the positions she has held during her career as an attorney, being the commonwealth’s attorney in Perry County has been the most fulfilling because it gives her chance to work to better the community.
“I try very hard to be fair with people, and the fact that so many folks voted for me today, I hope, is recognition that that’s what I try to do, and I try real hard to do a good job, be straight up and honest,” Reed said.
In a third local primary, an incumbent failed to gain a victory, and now Perry County will have a new circuit clerk come 2013 as political newcomer Charles Patterson took a Democratic primary victory over two-time incumbent Roger Collins and longtime deputy clerk Debbie Manis.
As of Tuesday evening, Patterson took 925 votes to Collins’ 751 and Manis’s 727.
Patterson will now move on to face Republican Tom Eckert in the November general election.
While Reed gained the highest vote totals in Perry County on Tuesday, the second highest came in the Democratic primary for president, though that total wasn’t for any candidate. President Barack Obama gained 617 votes, while 1,305 Perry County Demcorats voted for “uncommitted.”
In the Republican primary, Mitt Romney carried Perry County with 479 votes.
In another federal primary, Democrat Kenneth Stepp easily carried Perry County with 918 votes to Michael Ackerman’s 738. Stepp will now move on to face longtime Congressman Hal Rogers in November in what will be a repeat of the 2010 race.