For the first time in 31 years, Lincoln County will be represented in the state house by one of its own.
Stanford resident David Meade won the Republican primary Tuesday for the District 80 seat in the Kentucky House of Representatives. Without a Democratic challenger in the race, there will be no general election competition.
Meade's 1,843 votes in Lincoln, Rockcastle and Pulaski counties gave him an edge over his closest competitor, Rockcastle preacher Mark Eaton, who garnered a total of 1,642 votes.
Rockcastle contender Roger Coldiron got 353 votes, while Crab Orchard farmer Jerry Shelton received 176, according to unofficial tallies gathered by Lincoln County Clerk Sonny Spoonamore.
At a celebration party in downtown Stanford after the votes came in, Meade thanked his family and fellow candidates. He also offered public condolences to Coldiron, whose mother died recently.
"Everyone ran this race in a way that I think folks want to see a race ran," Meade said in between handshakes and hugs with supporters. "I appreciate all the support from the voters and in our communities, and I care deeply for Lincoln, Pulaski and Rockcastle counties."
Lincoln County Judge-Executive Jim Adams said he has many unfulfilled requests he made of the legislature in previous sessions that he is now more hopeful will be heard and worked on by Meade.
"It's a great day for Lincoln County," he said. "(Meade's) hard work paid off."
Meade took Lincoln County by a large margin, earning 867 votes to 350 among the other three candidates combined. Shelton had his strongest performance in Lincoln, getting 118 votes.
Meade also won handily in Pulaski County with 141 votes to 96 votes for the other candidates.
Eaton beat Meade in Rockcastle County by 643 votes, but that wasn't enough to make up the lost ground.
Rockcastle Judge-Executive Buzz Carloftis seemed genuinely surprised when a reporter read him the number of Lincoln County votes — 89 — for Eaton.
"Oh, 89. Only 89?" he asked.
Carloftis offered his congratulations to Meade and said he looks forward to working with him.
"Of course, it's bitter-sweet that Rockcastle has lost a seat after all these years, but I'm sure he'll be a fine representative," he said.
When asked what he was going to do now, Meade said half-jokingly, "take a vacation."
"It's been a hard three or four months of campaigning every night," he said.
Meade said he is going to to be meeting with current Rep. Danny Ford and getting to know people up in Frankfort. Ford has already agreed to help him get familiar with the Capitol, he said.
The other main race on the ballot was the Democratic primary between Michael Ackerman and Kenneth Stepp for the chance to run against U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers for the fifth district congressional seat.
Stepp was ahead by a slim margin with 99 percent of precincts reporting as of 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. Lincoln voted for Ackerman 356-115.
In the Democratic primary for U.S. President, Barack Obama received 247 votes in Lincoln County, while "uncommitted" received 241.