Major races nationwide and locally were decided on Tuesday

The 2012 election season is over. While some are cheering and some are simmering, most Cleburne County residents, indeed most Americans are releasing a collective sigh that the long, exhausting campaign is finally behind them.
Nationally, there was no major change in power. President Barack Obama was elected to four more years, defeating Republican opponent Mitt Romney in both the Electoral College and popular vote. As of this article's publication, President Obama received 303 electoral votes to Romney's 206 and also received 60,786,442 popular votes over Romney's 57,890,964. Florida votes have not been finalized, but as of publication, Obama maintained a small lead over Romney there as well. The Senate remains in Democratic hands, with Democrats gaining a couple of additional seats and the House of Representatives will remain in Republican control. These results leave the government with the same political make-up as before and leave many Americans wondering if we can overcome the gridlock that has gripped Washington over the past 2 years.
The election of 2012 did result in a few milestones. For the first time ever, two states, Colorado and Washington, legalized the sale of recreational marijuana to people over the age of 21, though it is still illegal under federal law. Voters legalized gay marriage in Maine and Maryland, marking the first time it has been legalized by popular vote. Also for the first time in its history, Puerto Rico voted in support of becoming the 51st state. That issue will now have to go before Congress.
In Arkansas, voters narrowly defeated a ballot initiative that would have legalized medical marijuana. While most expert predicted the initiative would fail, they were surprised at the how narrowly it was defeated. The initiative received most of its support from the more heavily populated areas and some of the counties in the delta region, with more rural counties and regions showing strong opposition. Because of the strong showing of support for legalization, supporters have vowed to bring the issue before Arkansas voters again.
Here in Cleburne County, some dynamic and often contentious races came to a close. Senator Missy Irvin handily defeated opponents Zac White and Paul White for the position of State Senate Position 19. In the House races, Josh Miller beat out Jeff Pistole for District 66 and John Payton defeated Dennis Knapp for District 64. For the position of County Judge, Jerry Holmes defeated Cleburne County Economic Developer Jim Jackson. In what proved one of the most watched and closest local races of the night, Sheriff Marty Moss narrowly defeated challenger Josh Johnston by less than 500 votes.
Below is a complete list of the final results of all races and issues decided by Cleburne County voters:

U.S. President
Romney/Ryan - 8682
Johnson/Gray - 196
Stein/Honkala - 106
Obama/Biden - 2617
Lindsay/Osorio - 32

U.S. Congress District 1
Jacob Holloway - 249
Jessica Paxton - 315
Scott Ellington - 2818
Rick Crawford - 7954

State Senate District 18
Paul White - 1005
Missy Irvin - 7553
William "Zac" White - 2852

State Rep District 64
Dennis Knapp - 2102
John Payton - 3118

State Rep District 66
Josh Miller - 4260
Jeff Pistole - 1777

County Judge
Jerry Holmes -8781
Jim Jackson - 2700

County Sheriff
Josh Johnston - 5527
Marty Moss - 6023

Circuit Clerk
Karen Giles - 9608

County Coroner
Warren Olmstead - 5963
Vickie Morgan - 5070

J.P District 1
Claude Dill - 302
Gary Lynn Sutherland - 538

J.P. District 4
Grant Vannatter - 438
Willie Stone -541
Reta Heigle - 178

J.P. District 5
Pat McGary - 350
Alan Malone - 585

J.P. District 9
Steve Choate - 661
Paula Sporn - 508

J.P. District 10
Carol Ann Johnson - 502
Jacque Patchell Martin - 704

Constable - Giles
David L. Bryant - 340
Jerry D. Lee - 270

Heber Alderman W1 P2
Louis Short - 320
Vicki Bittle Presley - 302

Heber Alderman W2 P2
Nick Adams - 300
Kathy Bryan - 297

Heber Alderman W4 P2
Eddie Stepanek - 163
Melisa Gardner - 346
Jim Lay - 268

Greers Ferry Alderman W1 P1
Esther Taylor - 152
Scott Hartsfield - 236

Greers Ferry Alderman W2 P2
Terry Thornton - 198
Larry John Davis - 180

Greers Ferry Alderman W3 P2
Brent Hunt - 177
Richard L Balmer, Jr - 58
T.R. "Bob" Carr - 149

Mayor-Higden
Grady Brown - 59

Issue 1 Sales Tax for Highways
For - 5249
Against - 5998

Issue 2 Local Development Bonds
For - 3794
Against - 7136

Issue 5 Medical Marijuana
For - 4838
Against - 6675