With a large crowd gathered at the Harlan County Courthouse, winners were quickly announced after votes were tabulated by the Harlan County Clerk’s office following Tuesday’s general election.
In the race for District 5 magistrate — vacated after the untimely death of Jim Roark and the resignation of appointed replacement Delzinna Belcher — Democrat Delbert Stephens, of Coldiron, recorded a narrow 15 vote victory with 1,084 votes over Republican Mary Ann “Sis” Niday, who received 1,069 votes.
“It was a close race and I think it was because we were both well known in the district and both well liked,” said Stephens. “I knew it would come down to just a few votes and it did — only 15 votes. Mary Ann was post mistress at the Wallins Post Office for 22 years and she knew a lot of people. I have worked a long time for the county and knew a lot of people in our district also.”
Stephens said that for the next two years, “I want to continue to represent District 5 and Harlan County to the best of my ability. I want to see the sewer project for the Wallins Elementary School completed, and other projects as well, as funds are made available. I want to see our district prosper and I’ll work hard to see that happen.”
Niday said she “did the best she could have done” in her run for magistrate in District 5.
“I went door to door and it was a clean race,” said Niday. “Hopefully, Delbert will make us a good magistrate.”
With three vying for the office of mayor of Evarts, incumbent Eddie Manning will remain in office with 236 votes. Manning was appointed to that position after the untimely death of longtime mayor Burl Fee Sr. Coming in second was the late mayor’s son, B.J. Fee Jr. with 103 votes. Terry Williams received three votes.
“I appreciate the confidence the people of Evarts placed in me by voting for me in this election,” said Manning. “I’ll continue working hard every day to see the city of Evarts prosper.”
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