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Manuel earns re-election, Pellish gets seat

By Staff | Nov 5, 2010

CHARLES TOWN – With votes from each of Jefferson County’s 32 precincts counted, it appears that incumbent Dale Manuel and newcomer Walt Pellish have won their respective races for the County Commission seats from the Charles Town and Shepherdstown districts.

Manuel, a Democrat, tallied 8,166 votes (53.7 percent), compared to Republican challenger Derek Lambert’s 7,022 votes (46.2 percent), according to numbers released by the county clerk’s office. There also were 28 write-in votes.

“I appreciate the support from the citizens of Jefferson County for my candidacy,” Manuel said. “It was a long and tumultuous campaign this time. I just want to congratulate most of the candidates for doing a fair race and conducting themselves in a very professional manner.”

Manuel, a 61-year-old former eight-term member of West Virginia’s House of Delegates and retired educator, has served one six-year term on the Jefferson County Commission and now will serve a second.

Lambert, a 36-year-old program manager with Science Applications International Corp., moved to Jefferson County after being medically discharged from the Air Force and has never held public office before.

The election for the Shepherdstown County Commission seat featured a three-way race, with Democratic candidate Paul G. Taylor, Republican Walt Pellish and independent Ed Dunleavy.

Unofficial tallies had Pellish ekeing out a win with 6,068 votes (40 percent), compared to Taylor’s 5,949 votes (39.2 percent) and Dunleavy’s 3,141 votes (20.7 percent). There also were 17 write-in votes.

Pellish will be the first Republican county commissioner in Jefferson County since former commissioner Rusty Morgan.

“I’m humbled,” Pellish said. “I’m very proud of the race Paul and I ran. We said we were going to run it as gentlemen and keep it strictly to issues, and that’s what we did, and I hope we set a new standard.”

Taylor is a 49-year-old attorney with no previous political experience, while Pellish is a 69-year-old retired executive of U.S. Silica Co. who also has no political experience.

Dunleavy is 66 years old, retired from the investment industry and a former member of the Jefferson County Planning Commission.

The County Commission seat for the Shepherdstown district is currently held by Commissioner Jim Surkamp, who lost to Taylor in the Democratic primary in May.

– Staff writer Matt Armstrong can be reached at 304-725-6581, or marmstrong@journal-news.net