Malone achieves party nod

Published 2:02 am Wednesday, May 5, 2010

He walked away with the Democratic nomination but an admittedly healthy respect for the man who challenged him in Tuesday’s primary.

Lawrence County voters chose incumbent Lawrence County Commissioner Doug Malone Tuesday as their party’s candidate for general race in the fall. With all 84 precincts accounted for, Malone collected 1,283 votes to newcomer Justin Berry’s 727.

Malone, who is seeking his third four-year term on the three-seat commission, said he appreciated the support of his fellow Democrats.

“I feel like I’ve served the county well,” he said. “I’ve always done what I thought was right and represent the people with a level head. I’ve tried not to make decisions out of anger. I don’t do things just to get my name in the paper. When people call, I go check out their problems.”

Malone said, while it would have been nice to have been unopposed, if he had to have an opponent, he was glad to have an opponent such as Berry.

“He worked tremendously hard. What the Democratic party needs is young people like that coming in.”

Berry, 26, of Scottown, brought his wife and other family and friends to the courthouse for moral support and remained upbeat throughout the evening. An evangelist, he even had prayer with Malone at one point before conceding the race.

“I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed,” Berry said after congratulating Malone. “I am disappointed.”

In spite of losing, Berry said he had learned something from this experience: The importance of talking to people and keeping the lines of communication open between government and the elected.

“Talk to people,” he said. “Too many people in the courthouse don’t do anything, top to bottom. Get out and talk to folks.”

Berry said he appreciated the support of those who voted for him and asked those people to support Malone in November. Asked if he would venture into the political arena again in the future, he replied, “Absolutely.”

Malone will face Republican Paul Herrell in the general election.