For many candidates, the 2020 Primary election seemed as if it would never end. For many voters, the process was confusing and at times frustrating. However, on Tuesday evening, the Adams County Board of Elections announced the results of the mail in and early voting election. Over 25% of registered voters participated in the primary election. There were 4,263 ballots cast out of 16,579 registered voters. Of those, 957 were Democrats and 3,584 were Republican ballots. There were six voters that did not affiliate with a political party.
There were three hotly contested races on the Republican side, two for Commissioner and one for Clerk of Courts. County Commissioner Barbara Moore easily fended off a challenge from Troy Dotson, 2,157 to 1,148. Dotson had applied to be a County Commissioner in 2016 and 2019 when vacancies occurred, however, the Republican Party chose other appointees. Moore was appointed Commissioner last year and faces no opposition in November, paving the way to her first full-term.
Political newcomer Dane Clark had a strong showing against incumbent Commissioner Teresa Diane Ward and the results are too close to call. Ward was first elected by a 35 vote margin in 2016 after defeating incumbent Paul Worley. As of press time, Ward leads Clark 1,682 to 1,611, a difference of 71 votes. While the results could change, it is unlikely.
According to the Adams County Board of Elections, there are 268 outstanding ballots that had to be postmarked by 4/27/20 in order to be counted. As of Friday, only 32 had been returned and there were an additional 77 provisional ballots outstanding.
Clerk of Courts Larry Heller resoundingly won his contest for re-election to Clerk of Courts. The incumbent was challenged by Economic Development Director Holly Johnson who came in a distant second and first time candidate Helen Cluxton Williams who came in third. The vote totals were 1,932, 783, and 569, respectively. Heller first ran for the seat in 2012 challenging Gary Gardner. Gardner refused to be seated for his term in 2013, and Heller was appointed to the position by the Republican Central Committee. He was elected in 2014 for two years, and elected to a full-term in 2016 by voters.
There will be no official declared winner in the contest between Dane Clark and Teresa Diane Ward until May 11th, when the Adams County Board of Elections meets to review outstanding ballots and provisional voting.