While the state’s attention was likely on the presidential race and state races for U.S. Senate and House of Representatives seats, many state leaders were on the ballot and sailed to easy victories over their political opponents.
In the race for Public Service Commission president, incumbent Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh trounced her Republican rival Terry Dunn. Cavanaugh claimed just over 63 percent of the vote, with just over 200,000 more votes than her opponent.
In a decidedly closer vote, Jackie Zeigler won her bid to represent District 1 on the State Board of Education. Zeigler defeated her closest opponent, Republican Matthew Brown, by only 10 percentage points. Stephanie Bell won her bid for the District 3 seat on the State Board of Education over Justin Barkley, 59.75 percent to 40.25 percent.
Perhaps the widest margin of victory in the State Board of Education race was claimed by Democrat Ella Bell, who was running for the District 5 seat. Bell dominated the race with more than 85 percent of the vote. The closest number in the Board of Education race came from the District 7 contest, in which Jim Bonner bested Jim Newman by less than 8 percentage points.
Amendment 1, which is designed to require newly appointed circuit court judges and district attorneys to pay into their retirement fund, was also approved by voters. More than 62 percent of state voters said yes to the measure, with 37 percent voting against it.
A local referendum in Shelby County, which would allow alcohol to be sold after noon on Sundays, was approved by nearly 70 percent of the county’s voters.