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Commissioners elected, county chooses McCain

By Staff
Jonathan Willis
Franklin County residents finally know who their commission will consist of.
After several months of campaigning through party primaries and run-offs, voters elected Howard Hutcheson, of Phil Campbell, and Don Hastings of Red Bay.
Both Democrats held off Republican opposition to claim their seats on the county commission.
Hutcheson defeated Jack Harris, of Russellville, in the District 2 race 6,371 to 4,491.
Hastings defeated Scotty Raper, of Red Bay, 6,058 to 4,635 in the District 4 race.
Hastings and Hutcheson both said that there are several items on their agenda list to accomplish, but both want to start with road projects.
"There are going to be some tough times for a couple of years and we've got to find some money," Hutcheson said.
"We may have to make some cuts in different areas down the line."
Hastings agreed that road projects are a concern for county residents, but he said two other areas are high on his priority list.
"I want to get something done with economic development and I would like to get our debt reduced," said the former Red Bay city councilman. "That's one thing that's really hurting us."
The only other contested local race on the ballot was the District 3 school board race.
Incumbent Randy Hester defeated H.B. Humphres 1,004 to 709.
State and national Republican Party candidates fared much better in the county.
Arizona Sen. John McCain defeated Sen. Barack Obama, of Illinois, 8,048 to 3,469 in the county.
Franklin County voters also supported Sen. Jeff Sessions and Rep. Robert Aderholt in their bids for re-election.
"I am real pleased with the top of the ballot in the county," said Jerry Fancher, Chairman of the Republican Executive Committee. "I think we are gaining ground on the local level."