Forney takes Commission seat, Cowles & Trump win new terms in Legislature

Republican political newcomer Sean Forney has won a six-year term on

Sean Forney

the Morgan County Commission, pushing out former commissioner and Democrat Stacy Schultz in the county’s most contentious political race this cycle.

Forney took 4,197 votes in the election while Schultz pulled in 1,828.

Unaffiliated Codi Ford, a third candidate for the county seat, came in far behind the field with 210 votes after waging virtually no campaign for the post.

Forney will take the seat being vacated by two-term commissioner Bob Ford. Forney, a Morgan County businessman, beat out Ford in the May primary to reach the November 6 general election as the GOP candidate.

As final precinct totals were reported, Forney said he was thankful that support for his campaign held out through the election, and he was proud he had run an “honest, clean campaign.”

“I’m looking forward to getting to work,” said Forney.

Voting on Tuesday, November 6 was brisk at the county’s 13 precincts. County Clerk Kim Nickles reported that even on the rainy Election Day, there were lines of voters waiting for the polls to open at virtually every precinct in the county.

Voter turnout in this mid-term election was a record 47 percent, with 6,332 Morgan County voters casting a ballot on election day and during early voting. There are 13,467 registered voters in the county.

Turnout in recent elections hit a high of 40.9 percent during the May primary with hotly contested party races at every level of the ballot. Turnout in the May 2018 primary election was just 29.3 percent.

Morgan County Prosecuting Attorney Dan James secured the unexpired term of former prosecutor Debra McLaughlin with 5,117 votes in his unopposed campaign to turn his appointed position into an elected one.

Berkeley Springs attorney and Republican State Senator Charles Trump

Charles Trump IV

IV secured another term in the State Senate, winning out over Independent challenger Jason Armentrout in the 15th district, which includes Morgan County. With three of four counties reporting, Trump had a 13,000-vote lead over Armentrout.

Berkeley Springs businessman and Morgan County Economic Development director Daryl Cowles fought off two challengers to win another two-year term in the

Daryl Cowles

House of Delegates representing the 58th district. Republican Cowles won with 3,783 votes over Berkeley Springs Democrat Bibi Hahn, who pulled in 1,419 votes in the district during her first political campaign. Berkeley Springs referee and political Independent Kent McCumbee rolled up 373 votes in the race.

Former Republican delegate Larry Kump will return to the House of Delegates representing the 59th district after beating Democrat John Isner 4,518 votes to 2,765.

Voters in the second Congressional district appeared, at press time, to be favoring Republican incumbent Alex Mooney to keep his seat in the U.S. House of Representative despite a challenge by Democrat Talley Sergent.

The race for West Virginia’s U.S. Senate seat was too close to call at press time, with 39 of 55 counties reporting vote totals and Democratic incumbent Joe Manchin with just a one percent lead at 11 p.m.

Statewide, voters also appeared to favor an amendment to the West Virginia Constitution that would say state residents had no constitutional right to an abortion. In Morgan County, voters backed the amendment 55.85 percent to 44.15 percent.

A second amendment, to provide legislative oversight for the state’s judiciary budget, had strong backing statewide at press time, with 73 percent of voters favoring it. Morgan County voters back it even more strongly, with 76 percent of votes cast in favor of the amendment.

All vote totals on election night are preliminary. The Morgan County Commission will canvass the vote on Tuesday, November 13.