• John McGary, Woodford Sun News Editor

Barr edges McGrath for 6th District seat, Traugott, Vandegrift, Graviss take top offices

Three-term U.S. Representative Andy Barr beat political newcomer Amy McGrath Tuesday in the 6th Congressional District in a race watched across the nation.

In Woodford County, Barr beat McGrath, a retired Marine fighter pilot, 6,932 to 5,878. In the 19-county 6th Congressional District, Barr edged McGrath, 51 percent to 47.8 percent, with a winning margin of 9,738 votes. The race saw both candidates raising and spending millions of dollars, and was seen as a possible bellwether for control of the U.S. House of Representatives. In the end, while Democrats took back the House, they couldn’t unseat Barr.

In Woodford County, Democrat Joe Graviss beat Republican Dan Fister, 6,938 to 5,728, in the race for the 56th State Representative seat left vacant when James Kay ran for judge-executive. Kay was unopposed in that race and will take office Jan. 1. The mayoral races were both easily won by incumbents. Versailles Mayor Brian Traugott beat challenger Lisa Johnson, 2,488 to 1,245, to earn a second full term. He was first elected in a vote by the city council in 2013 after then-Mayor Fred Siegelman resigned, and didn’t face opposition in 2014.

First-term Midway Mayor Grayson Vandegrift easily fended off challenger Ambrose Wilson IV, the son of a former Midway mayor, 588 to 239.

Woodford Fiscal Court will see five new faces in January, as incumbents Gary Finnell (3th) and Duncan Gardiner (6th) were defeated. The new members will be Democrat Liles Taylor (1st), who beat Joe Greathouse; Republican Matt Merrill (3rd), who beat Finnell; Democrat Kelly Carl (4th), who was unopposed in the general election; Democrat William Downey (5th), who beat Versailles City Council Member Ann Miller; and Democrat Larry Blackford, who defeated Gardiner.

The top six finishers in the Versailles City Council race are incumbents Mary Ellen Bradley (who received the most votes), Mike Coleman, Laura Dake and Ken Kerkhoff, while Siegelman and Gary Jones, owner of the Versailles Brewing Company, will join the council next year.

The top six finishers in the Midway City Council race include incumbents Bruce Southworth, Kaye Nita Gallagher and Sara Hicks, with first-time candidates Stacy Thurman (who received the most votes), John Holloway and Logan Nance also winning seats. Incumbent John McDaniel III finished seventh.

In the two school board races, Allison Richardson beat incumbent Karen Brock in the 2nd District, while Dani Bradley beat two other newcomers in the 5th District. Richardson was a leader in the drive to defeat the proposed 5.5 cent property tax hike to build a new high school, while Bradley was a vocal supporter of the idea, which was defeated in a June 26 special election.

The new 14th District Judge will be Woodford County resident Sarah Hays, who defeated Kelli Kearney.

The Commonwealth’s Attorney race went to Republican Sharon Muse, who defeated Democrat Keith Eardley. Pamela Goodwine beat Rob Johnson in the contest to determine the judge for the 5th Appellate District of the state Court of Appeals. Jeremy Mattox won the 14th Circuit Judge (Div. 1) race and Brian Privett (Div. 2) won the race to fill an unexpired term in the 14th Circuit. For a complete list of winners, including races in which there was only one candidate on the ballot, please see page 6.

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