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Gearing up for primary election

By Staff | Jan 22, 2016

Toni Milbourne

Chronicle Editor

As month end approaches, so does the deadline to file for political office for both the primary election to be held May 10 and the general election in November. Those wishing to seek an office must file with their local Clerk’s office or with the Secretary of State by Jan. 31 to be placed on the ballots.

The upcoming election is a large one, woith offices open all the way from President of the United States to local sheriff.

In Jefferson County, offices on the ballot include, at the federal level, President and U.S. House of Representatives, 2nd Congressional District. Several candidates have filed for the presidential office, with Donald Trump being the first to do so in West Virginia.

On the ballot for U.S. House, so far, are Mike Manypenny, from Grafton and Mark Hunt from Charleston, both Democrats. Republicans who have filed so far include David McKinley, Wheeling; Alex Mooney, Charles Town; Marc Savitt, Kearneysville and Even Jenkins, Huntington.

At the state level, offices on the ballot include governor, secretary of state, auditor, treasurer, commissioner of agriculturem Supreme Court justice. Circuit Court Judge, Family Court Judge, State Senator (16th District) and House of Delegates (65th, 66th and 67th districts).

According to the Secretary of State’s website on Wednesday afternoon, Republican Bill Cole, Charleston and Democrats Jim Justice, Lewisburg and Booth Goodwin, Charleston, have filed for the governor’s seat. Natalie Tennant, Democrat from Charleston, hopes to retain the Secretary of State position as she faces Republican competition from Mac Warner of Morgantown.

Auditor candidates include Republican John McCuskey, Charleston; and Democrats Mary Ann Claytor, St. Albans and Robin Righter, Shinnston. Treasurer John Perdue, (Dem.-Marlinton) faces a challenge from Kent Leonhardt, (Rep.-Fairview). Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (Rep.-Harpers Ferry) will see opposition from Democrat Doug Reynolds from Huntington.

Supreme Court Justice candidates so far include Wayne King, Wallback; Beth Walker, Morgantown and William Wooton, Beckley.

State Delegate positions so far see Jill Upson, Republican incumbent, seeking reelection in District 65 with Paul Espinosa, also a Republican incumbent, seeking to continue in District 66. Riley Moore, a Republican, is seeking the 67th District seat. So far these three face no known opposition according to the SOS website.

In local office, Assessor Angela Banks, (Dem.) faces no known opposition. County Clerk candidates include Bill Ball and Herb Snyder, both Democrats; as well as Republican candidate Jacqueline Shadle.

County Commission seats in both the Charles Town and Shepherdstown districts are up this election cycle. Incumbent Dale Manuel (Dem.) has filed for Charles Town as has Walt Pellish (Rep.) in Shepherdstown. Also filing for the Shepherdstown District is Republican Caleb Wayne Hudson.

Magistrates, who this year, will only be on the primary ballot in May, along with all judges and Supreme Court justices, include Gail Boober and Ginny Harrison in Division 1; Bill Senseney in Division 2 and Arthur ‘Skip’ Cridler and Mary Paul Rissler in Division 3.

The Justice of the Supreme Court, Circuit Court Judge, Family Court Judge, and Magistrates are now non-partisan offices and will be elected during the May Primary. They will not appear on the General Election ballot. This change was made during the 2015 legislative session.

The Sheriff’s race sees incumbent Pete Dougherty (Dem.) and three Republican candidates, Tom Hansen, Tom Newcomer and Steve Sowers, Sr.

Jefferson County currently has over 33,000 registered voters. There are 32 voting precincts across the county that are divided among three delegate districts; the 65th, 66th and 67th.