Smith, Stumbo Win Special Election

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A special election for a state Senate seat
came down to a razor-thin margin on Tuesday.
In unofficial returns with 100 percent of precincts reporting,
Hazard businessman and Republican candidate Brandon Smith had 401
votes more than Democrat Scott Alexander, out of more than 20,000
cast in the eastern Kentucky race.
Despite the close race in the Senate contest, Alexander told The
Associated Press he was resigned to the loss and did not plan to
ask for a recanvass. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Smith
had 10,409 votes or 51 percent, compared with 10,008 votes or 49
percent for Alexander.
The special election was for the seat vacated by Daniel
Mongiardo, a Democrat who was elected lieutenant governor.
Democrats easily won two state House seats in separate special
elections in eastern and western Kentucky.
Former Attorney General Greg Stumbo defeated Republican Larry D.
Brown for a seat representing Floyd County in eastern Kentucky. In
unofficial returns from 100 percent of precincts, Stumbo had 3,591
votes or 80 percent compared with 801 votes or 18 percent for
Brown. A write-in candidate got 97 votes for the 95th District
Stumbo, who had served as majority floor leader, represented the
district in the House from 1980 until his election as the state's
top prosecutor in 2003. As attorney general, Stumbo's office led an
investigation against former Gov. Ernie Fletcher into allegations
of improper hiring.
In western Kentucky, Democrat Will R. Coursey defeated
Republican Marvin Wilson of Eddyville. Coursey, a banker from
Symsonia, will replace former state Rep. J.R. Gray of Benton, who
resigned to become state labor commissioner.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Coursey had 6,130 votes
or 64 percent, compared with 3,498 votes for Wilson or 36 percent.
Authorities, meanwhile, were investigating allegations of
vote-buying in eastern Kentucky.
"We have received calls on what we're affectionately calling
'beer for votes,"' said Les Fugate, spokesman for the secretary of
state's office.
Perry County Clerk Haven King, Kentucky State Police and the
attorney general's office confirmed an investigation in Perry
County, though officials declined to release details.
"There were some allegations of some election fraud, and state
police are looking into that at this time," Lt. Phil Crumpton

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)