By ROBERT S. MERRILL
Franklin County will have two new people serving in elected positions following the Nov. 6 general election.
Republican Vic Pearson defeated Weston resident Tyler Olson, an Independent, for the county prosecutor’s position. Pearson received 2,996 votes to Olson’s 2,476. The margin of victory for Pearson was 55-45 percent.
Pearson, who was the chief prosecutor for Bannock County, was selected by the local Republican Central Committee to replace Todd Garbett on the November ballot. Garbett, who has been Franklin County Prosecutor for several years, was named as a magistrate judge, serving Bear Lake County. Garbett started as judge last week, leaving the local prosecutor’s office vacant.
In the other contested race, Chief Deputy Dave Fryar, a Republican, handily defeated Alan G. Riggs, Fairview, a Democrat. Fryar received 4,262 votes to Riggs’ 1,303.
Long-time Sheriff Don Beckstead did not file for re-election. His current term expires in January 2013.
Two other uncontested races in the county were held. They were for Franklin County commission posts for District 1 and 3. District 1 is a two-year position, while District 3 is for four years.
District 3 is being represented by incumbent Commissioner Dirk Bowles. He filed for re-election as a Republican and ran unopposed. Bowles garnered 4,860 votes. Boyd Burbank, also a Republican, ran unopposed in District 1. Burbank defeated incumbent Richard Westerberg in May’s primary election. He received 4,962 votes.
In the District 32A legislative race, Franklin County voters supported Republican Marc Gibbs, of Grace, who was opposed by Democrat Bob Fitzgerald, Teton County. Gibbs received 4,825 votes, while Fitzgerald got 575.
In the District 32B race, incumbent Tom Loertscher, Bone, defeated challenger Ralph Mossman, of Driggs. Loertscher got 4,566 votes to 851 for Mossman.
District 32 incumbent Republican Sen. John Tippets, Bear Lake, was unopposed and received 5,011 votes, the most of any candidate in the county.
All three District 32 legislators were returned to office, according to statewide results.
Voters also retained local Magistrate Judge Eric Hunn in a non-partisan ballot. Hunn received 4,413 yes votes to 873 no.
Local voters mirrored a statewide vote and repealed all three of state Superintendent Tom Luna’s education reform laws. Proposition 1 would have limited the power of teachers unions. Proposition 2 would have provided a merit-pay system to teachers and Proposition 3 would have provided laptops and other technology to students.
Proposition 1 garnered 2,622 yes votes and 2,841 no votes. Proposition 2 received 2,632 yes votes to 2,854 no votes. Proposition 3 received 2,319 yes votes to 3,147 no.
Some 82 percent of Franklin County’s 6,944 registered voters turned out to the polls on Tuesday, according County Clerk Shauna Geddes. She said her office staff is still counting the number of election-day registrations. That could decrease the percentage of voter turnout a little, she added.
“We still had great community involvement in the election. Local citizens are concerned about issues and express that at the ballot box. Things ran smoothly all day long,” she said.
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