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Voters to make decisions on many fronts

By Staff | Oct 26, 2018

SHEPHERDSTOWN — With Nov. 6 drawing near, Jefferson County voters are now able to participate in early voting through Nov. 3. Hours for early voting at the Jefferson County Courthouse are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., including Saturdays. Election day voting will take place at the polling places between the hours of 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

When West Virginia voters enter the polling place, they will face multiple choices, as races are being run at the local, state and national levels.

At the local level, voters will select two county commissioners. One seat, being sought by incumbent, Jane Tabb (Rep.) and Robert Barrat (Dem.) is for a full six-year term. The second seat, where incumbent Peter Onoszko hopes to retain his seat against challengers Ralph Lorenzetti (Dem.) and David Tabb (Mountain), is an unexpired term. Onoszko had been appointed to the commission after the resignation of former commissioner Eric Bell. While commissioners are elected from specific districts, in this case Middleway and Harpers Ferry respectively, it is the entire voting population who selects one from each district.

At the state level, the 38,000 registered voters in the county will choose members of the House of Delegates. In the 67th District, of which Shepherdstown is a part, the competitors are Riley Moore (Rep.), incumbent, and John Doyle (Dem.), who had previously held the seat. In other districts within the county, Rep. Jill Upson will attempt to retain her seat, facing off against Sammi Brown (Dem.) in the 65th District while incumbent Paul Espinosa (Rep.) faces challenger David Dinges in the 66th District race.

The State Senate race pits current Sen. John Unger (Dem.) against opponent Mike Folk (Rep.), both of whom reside in Martinsburg.

Voters must also choose whether the current U.S. House Represenative Alex Mooney, of Charles Town, will continue to serve the 2nd Congressional District, or to replace him with Democratic challenger Talley Sergent, of Charleston. Also on the ballot for the seat is Mountain candidate Daniel Lutz, of Charles Town.

The U.S. Senate seat currently held by Joe Manchin, III (Dem.) of Fairmont, is facing a challenge from Republican candidate Patrick Morrisey, of Harpers Ferry. Morrisey had previously served as the state’s Attorney General while Manchin held the Governor seat prior to serving in the U.S. Senate. Libertarian Rusty Hollen, of Clarksburg, rounds out the Senate ticket.

Two divisions of the Supreme Court of Appeals are on the ballot seeking the election of justices. In Division 1, voters can choose between 10 judges: Ronald Hatfield, Jr., Huntington; Tim Armstead, Elkview; Joanna Tabit, Charleston; D.C. Offutt, Jr., Barboursville; Harry “Bo” Bruner, Jr., Charleston; Chris Wilkes, Martinsburg; Jeff Woods, Nitro; Hiram “Buck” Lewis, IV, Procious; Robert Carlton, Williamson and Mark Hunt, Charleston.

Ten candidates are also vying for the justice position in Division 2: Dennise Renee Smith, Charleston; Brenden Long, Hurricane; Jim Douglas, Charleston; Jeffrey Kessler, Glen Dale; William Schwartz, Charleston; Marty “Redshoes” Sheehan, Wheeling; Robert Frank, Lewisburg; William Stewart Thompson, Madison; Jim O’Brien, Wheeling and Evan Jenkins, Huntington.

Along with voting on candidates, voters must also determine whether two state constitutional amendments will pass.

The first proposed amendment is to amend the West Virginia Constitution to clarify that nothing in the constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of abortion.

The second proposed amendment will give the Legislature oversight of spending by the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.