Flurry of filings
A raft of new candidates for Morgan County School Board, county commission and other offices filed late last week, assuring a number of active political contests this election year.
When The Morgan Messenger went to press last Tuesday, there was only one candidate for the three school board seats, but six more people filed later in the week.
Vying for the three posts are: David Ambrose of Berkeley Springs; Aaron T. Close of Berkeley Springs; Eric Kidwell of Paw Paw; Tim Seims of Berkeley Springs; Sheila Jean Vinson of Berkeley Springs; John Westerfeld of Great Cacapon; and Jennifer M. Wolfe of Paw Paw.
Ambrose was elected to the board in 2006 and Kidwell was appointed to finish the term of Margaret Zembower of Paw Paw after her resignation last summer. The other candidates are new faces.
All Morgan County registered voters can vote in the School Board Election on Tuesday, May 11.
The Democrat and Republican Primary Elections will also be held on May 11 to choose each political party’s candidates for the General Election in November.
The Democrat ballot will see three candidates vying for the Morgan County Commission seat from Magisterial District #3, which is now held by Tommy Swaim.
Seeking the party’s nomination are Todd Farris, Tony Lynch and Barbara Tutor, all of Berkeley Springs.
Lynch is a former Town of Bath police chief and Morgan County deputy sheriff.
Tutor, a community activist, previously ran for House of Delegates on the Mountain Party ticket in 2002.
Farris is a newcomer to local politics.
Other Democratic candidates that are running unopposed in the May 11 Primary are:
—Donna Lechliter of Berkeley Springs, seeking the post of Morgan County Circuit Clerk.
see CANDIDATES page 5
—Alton E. Wolfe, Jr., now mayor of Paw Paw, seeking the House of Delegates seat from the 51st Delegate District, which includes parts of Morgan and Hampshire counties.
—Mike Roberts of Hedgesville, seeking the House of Delegates seat from the 52nd Delegate District, which includes parts of Morgan and Berkeley counties.
—Walt Helmick of Marlinton (Pocahontas County), seeking reelection to the State Senate from the multicounty 15th Senatorial District.
—Virginia Lynch Graf of Charles Town, seeking the U.S. House of Representatives seat from the 2nd Congressional District.
—Thomas E. McHugh of Charleston, seeking an unexpired term on the West Virginia Supreme Court.
In addition, local Democrats will choose members of the party’s county executive committee. Candidates are: (District #1) Jerry Berman, Sally P. Berman, Cynthia Largent-Hill; (District #2) Jami Clark, Larry Springer, Adam Wolfe; (District #3) Larry Schultz, Susan J. Schultz, John Allen Swaim.
There appear to be no contests for the Republican nominations in the party’s Primary Election on May 11.
The announced candidates are:
—Bradley J. Close of Berkeley Springs, seeking the Republican nomination for Morgan County Commissioner from Magisterial District #3.
—Debra Kesecker of Berkeley Springs, seeking reelection as Morgan County Clerk.
—Kimberley J. Jackson of Berkeley Springs, seeking reelection as Morgan County Circuit Clerk.
—Daryl E. Cowles of Berkeley Springs, seeking reelection to the House of Delegates from the 51st Delegate District, which includes parts of Morgan and Hampshire counties.
—Larry Douglas Kump of Falling Waters, seeking the House of Delegates seat from the 52nd Delegate District, which includes parts of Morgan and Berkeley counties.
—W. Page Noe of Delray (Hampshire County), seeking the State Senate seat from the multicounty 15th Senatorial District.
—Shelley Moore Capito of Charleston, seeking reelection to the U.S. House of Representatives from this district.
—John Yoder of Harpers Ferry, seeking an unexpired term on the West Virginia Supreme Court.
In addition, local Republicans will choose members of the party’s county executive committee. Candidates are: (District #1) Carl O. Cowgill; (District #2) Rickie L. Kesecker, Eric Pritchard, Frank Strader, Trisha Lynn Strader, Stewart Taylor; (District #3) Patricia Fields, C. William Harmison, Kevin T. McLaughlin.
Also elected in a nonpartisan race in the May 11 election will be supervisors for this region’s Conservation District. The only announced Morgan County candidate is Robert Lin Dunham, Jr. of Berkeley Springs.
Robin Mills of Rio (Hampshire County) has filed to be the Mountain Party candidate for House of Delegates from the 51st Delegate District. Mills has run twice for the seat in the past.
The Mountain Party does not hold a Primary Election but candidates are officially endorsed at a party convention.
Register to vote
Those registered as Republicans and as independents with no party preference may vote in the Republican Primary. Registered Democrats and those with no party preference may vote in the Democratic Primary.
As of February 1, there were 10,923 registered voters in Morgan County.
Of those, 4,797 (or 44%) were registered Republican; 3,437 (31%) were registered Democrat; 2,356 (22%) were registered as having no party preference; and the remaining 333 (3%) belonged to various small parties.
Since the 2008 Primary Election, the number of those with no party preference has increased by more than 250 voters while the two major parties have dropped in numbers. Partly this was due to voters being stricken from the rolls for non-voting.
The last day to register to vote for the May elections is Tuesday, April 20 – the day before early voting begins.
Registering to vote is a simple process at the County Clerk’s Office.