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primary election: the votes are in

By Staff | May 13, 2016

Voters in Jefferson County and across the state headed to the polls Tuesday to cast their votes for multiple offices.

The office of President of the United States to the seats on the Jefferson County Board of Education and everything in between were on the ballot for a decision.

While many offices were narrowed for a Nov. 8 ballot, there were a few offices locally that were settled with votes Tuesday. The Board of Education has been a non-partisan vote and has regularly been settled at a primary election. Joining those seats this year were the offices of judges and magistrates that were named non-partisan by the Legislature last year.

In local races for the Board of Education, incumbents Mark Osbourn and Gary Kable were joined on the ballot by Rob Frazier, Ronald Jones and Erica Logan. While early precincts showed Logan with a lead, by the time all 32 precincts came in, Kable and Osbourn were releected to their seats.

In the magistrate races in?Jefferson County, incumbents Gail Boober, Bill Senseney and Mary Paul Rissler also all kept their seats. This year was the first time the magistrates were delegated to a district rather than at large Boober was victorious over challenger Ginny Harrison while Seneseny overtook Ron Rossi and Rissler earned the highest number of votes handily defeating Arthur “Skip” Cridler.

Local judge seats open included Two family court judge seats. Judge David Greenberg ran unopposed in District 3 while Sally Gavin Jackson, in District 2 defeated challengers Christine Glover and Tia Coode to hold on to her seat.

Also unopposed were Family Court Judge David Camilletti in District 1; Circuit Judge Michael Lorensen in District 5, Judge Gray Silver in District 4; Judge Christopher Wilkes in Disrrict 3; and Judge John Yoder in District 2.

District 1 saw Bridget Cohee win the Circuit Judge seat defeating Steven Redding and Stephen Kershner with nearly 40 percent of the votes.

In District 6, Laura Faircloth was the top winner defeating Bill Powell, Nick Colvin and Ralph Lorenzetti.

At the state level, Justice Brent Benjamin failed to hold on to his seat as Beth Walker will sit on the State Supreme Court of Appeals beginning in January.

In other close to home races, Eva ALexander was unopposed as Assessor on the Republican ballot and will face off against Democrat incumbent Angela Banks. Current Circuit Clerk Laura Storm (Dem.) will face off against challenger Ben Svendsen (Rep.).

The County Clerk seat, currently filled by Jennifer Maghan, will have a new occupant as she did not run in this primary. Instead, her son, Joseph (Rep.) lost to challenger Jacki Shadle by a close margin and will face Democractic challenger Herb Snyder, who currently serves as Senator. Snyder defeated challenger Bill Ball in the primary.

In the race for County Commissioner from the Charles Town District, incumbent Dale Manuel (Dem.) ran unopposed as did Republican Josh Compton. The two will face off in November. The Shepherdstown District race had challenger Caleb Wayne Johnson defeating sitting commission Walt Pellish on the Republican ballot. Johnson will now face Democrat Jan Hafer for the seat in November.

A competitive race was seen between Republican sheriff candidates with Tom Newcomer finishing with 47 percent of the vote, defeating both Steve Sowers, Sr. and Tom Hansen. Newcomer will challenge incumbent Sheriff Pete Dougherty (Dem.) on Nov. 8.

A new Prosecuting Attorney will also take over after the November election as current prosecutor, Ralph Lorenzetti had thrown his hat into the ring for a judge’s seat. Democrats Hassan Rasheed and Charles Howard, both assistant prosecutors in the office, challenged each other with Rasheed taking the win with more than 55 percent of the votes. Rasheed will face Repblican challenger Matthew Harvey who ran unopposed on the Republican ticket Tuesday.

House of Delegate seats in the 65th, 66th and 67th Districts all were up for grabs but only the 67th District’s Republican ballot saw competition. Riley Moore handily defeated Daniel Scott Swisher and will face Rod Snyder on the Democratic side. The 65th District will pit newcomer Sammi Brown (Dem.) against incumbent Jill Upson (Rep.) and the 66th District has incumbent Republican Paul Espinosa facing challenger David Dinges.

In the State Senate battle, Stephen Skinner, current Delegate in the 67th District, defeated a challenge by David Manthos with nearly 71 percent of the vote. Skinner will face Republican Patricia Rucker who was victorious over Joe Funkhouser. Skinner and Rucker faced off in the last election cycle with Skinner squeaking past Rucker to win the Delegate seat by a few hundred votes.

Alex Mooney defeated Mark Savitt to earn a spot on the ballot for the U.S. House of Representatives seat in the 2nd Congressional Disrrict. Mooney will face Mark Hunt on the Democratic side of the ballot. Hunt defeated Cory Simpson, Tom Payne, Robert “Robin” Wilson, Jr. and Harvey Peyton who tried for ballot position.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey will face Democratic challenger Doug Reynolds who ran unopposed on the Democratic ballot. Morrisey also ran unopposed.

The office of State Treasurer will see Democrat John Perdue challenged by Republican Larry Faircloth. Faircloth topped Ann Urling Tuesday.

The Governor’s seat is up for grabs by Democrat Jim Justice who defeated Booth Goodwin and Jeff Kessler. Justice will battle Republican Bill Cole for the seat in November.

West Virginia Republicans chose Donald Trump as their man for President while the Democrats gave the majority of their votes to Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton.

In all, Jefferson County has 12,768 registered Democratic voters. Of those, 6,758 came out to vote. Of the 10,957 registered Republicans, 5,514 headed to the polls. Independent or nonpartisan registered voters number 12,479. Only 292 nonpartisan ballots were completed. However, nonpartisan voters are able to select a Republican or Democratic ballot if they choose.