Jefferson County witnessed a nearly complete Republican win in local offices during Tuesday’s General Election. Many of the wins were considered upsets as the citizenry made clear with their votes that a change is wanted.
The State Delegate seat saw Republican Patricia Rucker defeat Democratic challenger Stephen Skinner who gave up his seat as Delegate to try for the State Senate. Rucker received 12,251 or 51.42 percent of the vote in Jefferson County to Skinner’s 11,533 or 48.41 percent. The seat also receives votes from Berkeley County as the seat represents that area as well. Rucker received 54 percent of the Berkeley vote compared to Skinner’s 46 percent.
Rucker and Skinner have faced each other before. In the 2014 election, Rucker fell short by 131 votes for the House of Delegate seat.
Incumbent Jill Upson, R-Jefferson, carried the election for the 65th House District with almost 63 percent of the votes, or 4,897 votes. Opponent Sammi Brown, Democrat, won only 37.34 percent of the votes with 2,926 votes tallied.
In the 66th Delegate race, incumbent Republican Paul Espinosa kept his seat earning 5,031 votes or 66.93 percent. His opponent, Democrat David Dinges, raked in 2,586 votes or 33.89 percent.
Riley Moore, Republican, edged out Democrat Rod Snyder to take the Delegate seat in the 67th District. Moore saw 4,203 votes or 50.50 percent compared to Snyder’s 5,105 or 49.33 percent.
The 67th District covers the northern part of Jefferson County including Shepherdstown, Harpers Ferry, Bolivar and Shenandoah Junction. It has been represented in the Legislature since 2013 by Stephen Skinner, D-Jefferson.
Moore, of Harpers Ferry, is the vice president at a government relations firm and has worked as a national security advisor on the House Foreign Affairs Committee in Washington, D.C. Moore ran on a platform dedicated to fighting for more jobs and opportunity, making sure that the Eastern Panhandle is treated fairly in Charleston, ensuring that students have the best school system and combating drug addiction.
Moore is the nephew of U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito and grandson of former West Virginia governor and congressman Arch Moore.
Retaining her seat was Democrat Laura Storm who serves as Jefferson’s Circuit Court Clerk. She defeated challenger Ben Svendsen, Republican by earning 12,346 of the votes or 53.23 percent compared to Svendsen’s 10,811 or 46.61 percent.
The County Clerk seat was secured by Jacki Shadle, Republican, who earned 12,092 or 52.16 percent of the vote compared to Democratic challenger Herb Snyder. Snyder received 11,052 or47.67 percent of the vote.
Snyder had served as State Senator for several terms before deciding to not seek re-election for that seat.
The assessor position was retained by incumbent Angie Banks, Democrat, who has served in the position for several years. Banks was challenged by Republican Eva Alexander who secrued 11,283 votes or 58.92 percent compared to Banks’ 11,735 votes or 50.88 percent.
Several newcomers threw their names into the Jefferson County Commission race this election cycle, and Republicans Josh Compton and Caleb Hudson gained seats on the board.
Hudson, who will represent the Shepherdstown district, received 52.30 percent or 11,886 votes to defeat Democratic candidate Jan Hafer. The seat is currently held by Walt Pellish, who lost a bid to retain his seat in the primary election.
Compton, another newcomer to the Commission, defeated longtime incumbent Dale Manuel in the Charles Town district with 50.84 percent or 11,803 votes compared to Manuel’s 48.96 percent or 11,365 votes.
The Jefferson County Commission consists of five members, each representing districts throughout Jefferson County, including Harpers Ferry, Kabletown and Middleway in addition to Charles Town and Shepherdstown. Also on the Commission are Jane Tabb, Patrcia “Patsy” Noland and Peter Onosko.
Sheriff Pete Dougherty, Democrat, will fill that position through one more term. Dougherty faced off against Republican challenger Tom Newcomer. Doughterty received 12,745 votes or 54.19 percent to Newcomer’s 10,726 or 45.60 percent.
Stepping in as Jefferson County’s Prosecuting Attorney will be Republican winner Matt Harvey. Harvey received 13,026 or 56.10 percent of the vote compared to Democratic candidate Hassan Rasheed who earned 10,167 or 43.79 percent of voter’s choice.
At the state level, Democrat Jim Justice will serve as the next governor of the Mountain State while Mac Warner, Republican, upset the win for incumbent candidate Natalie Tennant for Secretary of State. John Perdue will continue as the state’s Treasurer and Kent Leonardt will now serve as the Commissioner of Agriculture, having defeated Democratic incumbent Walt Helmick. Patrick Morrisey, Republican Attorney General, will continue to serve as challenger Doug Reynolds could not attain the votes to defeat Morrisey.
All results are unofficial until canvassing is completed by the Jefferson County Commission.
The canvassing is scheduled for Nov. 14.