By Jeff Noble, Staff Writer
For incumbent State Representative Regina Petrey Bunch, the votes came in bunches Tuesday night.
In the race for the 82nd House District on Tuesday, Bunch easily defeated opponent James Larry Goins in the Republican Primary.
With all 36 precincts in Whitley County and four Laurel County precincts reporting, Bunch won district-wide, with 3,664 votes, or 77.27 percent, to Goins’ 1.078 votes, or 22.73 percent.
An unofficial total of 4,742 votes were cast in the race in both counties. The 82nd District is made up of all of Whitley County and the southern part of Laurel County.
Bunch, who is serving the remainder of the term of her husband, former State Representative Dewayne Bunch, will now serve a full two-year term in Frankfort this upcoming January. She has no Democratic opposition in the November election.
The difference for the two Williamsburg residents was in Whitley County. Out of a total of 4,544 votes cast, Bunch won the county convincingly, picking up 3,538 votes, or 77.86 percent, to Goins’ 1,006 votes, or 22.14 percent.
In southern Laurel County, the margin of victory was smaller, with Bunch winning with 126 votes, or 63.64 percent, to Goins’ 72 votes, or 22.14 percent. In that county, a total of 198 votes were cast in the race.
Goins commented on the outcome of vote in a phone interview Tuesday night by saying, “It’s one of those things, you know. People just don’t want representation in Whitley County. I just don’t think the system has changed.”
Telephone attempts to reach Bunch for a post-election comment were not returned as of press time Tuesday night.
Last Dec. 20, Bunch won a special election to finish her husband’s term in the Kentucky State House. On April 12 of last year, Dewayne Bunch was injured while trying to break up a fight between two students at Whitley County High School. He resigned last October, while his wife Regina announced she would run for his House seat last Nov. 1.
It was the third loss for Goins in the 82nd District House race, who is self-employed and owns a grocery store and rental properties. Prior to Tuesday’s race, Goins ran twice for the Republican nomination, in 2004 and 2006. He lost both times to then-State Representative Charles Siler.