Early voting begins April 25 in May primary election

4/26: Story updated to correct an inaccuracy on the ballot for Morgan County School Board.

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Registered voters can begin casting ballots in the May primary election today, April 25, as early voting opens for 10 days statewide.

Early voting in Morgan County takes place at the Morgan County Courthouse in the first-floor County Clerk’s office during regular business hours and on special voting days Saturday, April 28 and Saturday, May 5.

Morgan County Clerk’s office.

Voters in Morgan County will have multiple ballots before them. They will select candidates in party primary races to determine which candidates will be on the ballot during November’s general election.

The county’s party primary race is for the County Commission seat held by Republican Bob Ford. Ford is seeking re-election, but Republican challenger Sean Forney is looking to take the GOP slot on the November ballot.

Stacy Schultz is unopposed in the Democratic primary for the commission seat. Schultz, a former commissioner, will square off against the winner of the Republican primary come November.

Prosecuting Attorney Dan James will face no opposition in his run for election as prosecutor. James was appointed to the job last year but must be elected to serve out the remainder of the unexpired four-year term of Debra McLaughlin, who was elected to the post in 2016.

Delegate Daryl Cowles (R-Morgan) of Berkeley Springs is seeking a seventh two-year term representing the 58th district in the West Virginia House of Delegates. He is unopposed in the GOP primary primary.

Berkeley Springs Democrat Bibi Hahn is unopposed in her party’s primary in a bid for a slot on the November ballot against Cowles. The 58th district includes Morgan and parts of Hampshire counties.

State Senator Charles Trump (R-Morgan) is unopposed in the GOP race for State Senate representing the 15th district, which includes Morgan County.

The Republican primary race for a seat in the House of Delegates for the 59th district is between pharmacist Talley Ranels Reed and Larry Kump, former delegate from Falling Waters. The 59th district includes the eastern end of Morgan County into Berkeley County.

Democrat John Isner is seeking the Delegate seat for the 59th district, but is unopposed in his party’s primary. He will face off against the winner of the GOP primary in November.

Voters will also pick from among candidates vying for their party’s nomination for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, second Congressional district and the U.S. Senate.

School board & levy

Voters will also decide nonpartisan races for three seats on the Morgan County school board and two judges in the 23rd Judicial Circuit.

A total of six candidates are seeking three seats up for election on the Board of Education.

Seats on the ballot are those held now by Aaron Close, Laura Smith and David Ambrose.

Close and Smith, both of Berkeley Springs, have filed for re-election.

Eric Lyda, James D. Clark Jr., and Alice Lantz of Berkeley Springs and Pamela Mann of Great Cacapon are also seeking a four-year term on the board.

Because of rules about the make-up of the school board, no more than two members can serve from a single magisterial district. Clark, Lyda, Lantz and Close are all residents of Magisterial District #4, which covers northern Morgan County. Voters can choose up to two of the four to serve on the board.

Smith and Mann are residents of Magisterial District #1, which encompasses downtown Berkeley Springs and the entire western portion of Morgan County. Voters can choose up to two candidates from District #1 to serve on the board.

Morgan County voters are also asked to decide whether they want to continue a special school levy that brings in local tax dollars to Morgan County Schools, over and above the basic state school tax.

Judges

Eastern Panhandle voters will also pick a judge to serve out the unexpired term of the late John Yoder in the 23rd Judicial Circuit. The Division 2 race includes Debra McLaughlin of Berkeley Springs, who was appointed to serve in Yoder’s spot on the bench until the May election, and David Hammer of Shepherdstown.

Voters will also vote to fill the unexpired term of judge Gray Silver III, who has retired. Judge Silver served as a judge in Division 4 of the 23rd judicial circuit. David Camilletti of Jefferson County, Kim Crockett and Steven Redding of Berkley County are all running

for Silver’s seat.

Judges in the 23rd Circuit hear cases in Morgan, Berkeley and Jefferson counties.

Early voting through May 5

Early voting continues through May 5. Voters will cast ballots in the county’s 13 precincts on primary election day, Tuesday, May 8.

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