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Maloney carries the Eastern Panhandle

By Staff | Oct 7, 2011

CHARLES TOWN By an unofficial total of 3,353 votes to 3,217 votes, Republican gubernatorial candidate and Morgantown businessman Bill Maloney was victorious in Jefferson County over his Democratic rival, Acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, in Tuesday’s special election.

The election was held to determine who will serve out the remainder of former Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin’s term, which ends next year. Manchin was elected to the U.S. Senate last year to serve the remainder of former Democratic Sen. Robert C. Byrd’s term.

“It’s unusual for the Republicans to carry Jefferson County I don’t want to say a coup, but it is unusual. I think it also says a lot about our president,” said Jefferson County Republican Executive Committee Chair Anne Dungan. ” We’re very pleased, we had a lot of volunteers who did an awful lot of telephoning and door knocking, and it paid off. We’re very pleased.”

There were charges of dirty and negative campaigning on both sides of the political spectrum during this campaign, as it seems there are in most political campaigns.

“I have been somewhat disappointed with the negative ads because I like positive things that occur in campaigns,” said Jefferson County Democratic Executive Committee Chairwoman Reva Mickey.

Except for one or two instances, Dungan has not seen or heard much negative campaigning during this election, she said.

“I heard an ad this morning on the radio from the democratic side that had some things in it that were just untrue We of course in the Eastern Panhandle don’t get all the television ads that they get in the rest of the state, so I’ve not been privy to those things,” Dungan said. “Although I’ve heard it’s been pretty ugly.”

Out of 34,057 registered voters in Jefferson County, 6,824 participated in this election, resulting in a 20.04 percent voter turnout, according to Jefferson County Clerk Jennifer Maghan. The county also had 1,608 residents participate in early voting.

“(There were) a few little technical bumps here at the tallying part with the equipment but we got through that fine so the results were a little slower than we expected, but I don’t even think it’s nine o’clock yet,” Maghan said.

Election results in Jefferson County will be certified following an election canvass scheduled to be carried out by the Jefferson County Commission on Tuesday.