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Democrats pick Kerry as candidate

Wednesday, February 4, 2004

BENTON - The primary election to choose a candidate to represent their party drew few voters to the polls Tuesday.

Scott County, which had the Sikeston sales tax election on the ballot, had a 15 percent turnout while some 11 percent or 1,233 of New Madrid County's 11,576 registered voters cast ballots Tuesday.

"It was low," County Clerk Junior DeLay said of the turnout in Mississippi County. "The lowest I've ever had since I've been here."

The lowest turnouts usually range from 15 to 20 percent, DeLay said.


New Madrid County's new County Clerk found himself in a familiar atmosphere but on the other side of the ballot counting machine Tuesday evening.

Clement Cravens, who covered elections as publisher of the New Madrid Weekly Record and printed the county's ballots, took over as county clerk in January. Tuesday evening he was running the ballot counting machine.

"Everything went very smooth," said Cravens as the last of the ballots were counted. "Of course, there was a very small turnout, but there weren't very many problems at the polling places. This was a good test run for me, I got my feet wet."

Cravens said he used the opportunity Tuesday to visit the polling places and get to know the polling judges.

New Madrid County voters followed the statewide trend with Democrats in giving John Kerry nearly 50 percent of the local vote. The unofficial Democratic vote tallies were: Kerry, 518; John Edwards, 318; Wesley Clark, 69; Howard Dean, 53; Joe Lieberman, 34; Al Sharpton, 25; Dick Gephardt, 12; Uncommitted, 10; Dennis J. Kucinich, 5; Lyndon H. LaRouche, 4; and Carol Moseley Braun and Fern Penna, 2 each.

Among the county's Republicans, 170 cast their votes for George W. Bush while 3 were uncommitted. Bill Wyatt and Blake Ashby each received a single vote.

There were five voters taking a Libertarian ballot with Gary Nolan and Uncommitted each receiving two votes and N. Ruben Perez had one vote. No votes were cast for Jeffrey H. Diket.


Mississippi County voters picked John Kerry for the Democratic presidential candidate with a total of 343 votes, or 53 percent of the Democratic votes.

Runner-up on the Democratic primary ticket was John Edwards with 176 votes followed by Joe Lieberman with only 33. Howard Dean placed fourth with 24 votes, followed closely by Al Sharpton with 23, Wesley K. Clark with 22, Dick Gephardt with 14 and Carol Moseley Braun with 2. Dennis J. Kucinich, Lyndon H. LaRouche and Fern Penna all appeared on the Democratic ballot but received no votes. Nine voters were uncommitted.

George W. Bush captured nearly 96 percent of the Republican primary votes in Mississippi County with 113. Bill Wyatt and Blake Ashby received a single vote each, and three Republican ticket voters cast uncommitted votes.

Both Libertarian ballots voted in the county were uncommitted, with candidates Gary Nolan, N. Reuben Perez and Jeffrey H. Diket receiving no votes.

Following the trend in the rest of the state, John Kerry was the winner of the Democratic presidential primary in Scott County with 1,177 votes, followed by John Edwards, 697 votes; Howard Dean, 205 votes; Joe Lieberman, 156 votes; Wesley K. Clark, 148 votes; Al Sharpton, 74 votes; Dick Gephardt, 64 votes; 60 uncommitted votes; Dennis Kucinich, 14 votes; Carol Moseley Braun, 12 votes; Fern Penna, 11 votes; and Lyndon R. LaRouche, 5 votes.

In the Republican primary, George W. Bush received the majority with 1,066 votes. Challengers Bill Wyatt received 5 votes, and Blake Ashby garnered 3 votes. Twenty-three votes were uncommitted.

Gary Nolan was the winner in the Libertarian primary with 6 votes compared to Jeffrey H. Diket's 4 votes, N. Ruben Perez's 1 vote and 1 uncommitted vote.

These results, provided by the Scott County Clerk's Office in Benton, are unofficial.