Split decision

Published 3:12 am Wednesday, February 6, 2008

By By Kerry Whipple Bean – publisher
Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee were the projected winners in Alabama Tuesday night - but Escambia County voters chose their closest competitors, Hillary Clinton and John McCain.
In the county, former Arkansas governor Huckabee drew 40.47 percent of the vote to U.S. senator McCain's 44.94 percent. On the Democratic side in the county, the vote was even closer. Clinton, a New York senator, had 48.82 percent of the vote to Illinois senator Obama's 47.17 percent.
With just more than 80 percent of precincts reporting statewide, Huckabee had 42 percent of the vote to McCain's 38 percent. Obama had 56 percent to Clinton's 41 percent.
Courthouse officials estimated about a third of Escambia County's voters came to the polls.
Across the country, with McCain looking to have a big night on what was a 24-state Super Duper Tuesday, Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee likely drew similar swaths of the Republican vote, Edwards said.
With so many early primaries before clear nominees for each party were chosen, many states saw more activity from candidates, Edwards said.
Probate Judge Rachel Agerton said voting was smooth Tuesday.
Earlier in the day, two bomb threats were called in to city hall, next door to the voting precinct at the Brewton Community Center.
While city hall was evacuated, the community center was not, police said.
Poll worker Richard Schmidt said police checked out the building to make sure it was safe but did not have to evacuate any voters or pollworkers.
Voting at the community center - which combined two precincts after the old North Brewton School voting place had to close - was brisk throughout the day.
First-time voter Adam Robinson, 18, said his first experience with casting a ballot was “quick and easy.”
Atmore resident Jim Corman, vying for a chance to be a Huckabee delegate, said he was not surprised at his candidate's Alabama results.
In Atmore, another first-time voter, Leigh Ann Everette, said she had a wide range of people to vote for on the Republican side.
Adrienne McKenzie contributed to this report.