Morgan County voter turnout nears 58% as county delivers for GOP candidates

Morgan County Clerk Kim Nickles delivered election results for the county’s 13 precincts by 9:20 p.m. this Election Night — far earlier than in any general election in recent memory. Results include received absentee ballots and early voting tallies, along with ballots cast in polling places around the county on a clear sunny Tuesday, November 3.  Turnout for this 2020 presidential election was historically high, as reported around the U.S.

Of Morgan County’s 14,367 registered voters, 8,318 cast ballots in this election, hitting a turnout rate of 57.9%.

Republican candidates swept local votes at every level on the ballot, taking between 69% and 80% of the votes in contested races.

County-level elections, all uncontested races with Republican candidates, delivered no surprises. Sheriff. K.C. Bohrer has been elected to his second four-year term in office with 6,974 votes. County Commission President Joel Tuttle secured his second six-year term in office with 6,755 votes. Prosecuting Attorney Dan James won a full term in his post with 6,940 votes and Debbie Weaver has won her first term as the Morgan County Assessor with 7,145 votes — the highest grab of local votes in all four county races.

At the district level, Republican George Miller of Berkeley Springs took 75% of Morgan County’s votes in his race to represent the 58th district in the West Virginia House of Delegates. Miller beat out Democrat Tom Harden, also of Berkeley Springs, who pulled in 24,46% of the vote locally. Voters in Hampshire County are also part of the 58th district, so that race will be decided when that county tallies their votes.

In the race to represent the 59th district in the House of Delegates, Republican Ken Reed beat out two challengers in Morgan County precincts. Reed has taken 1,942 votes (70.11%) to Robert Smith’s 400 votes. Smith is a Mountain Party candidate. Patricia “Patch” Adams, an unaffiliated candidate, brought in 422 votes in the three-way contest. Voters in Berkeley County are also part of the 59th district, so that race will be final when their votes are tallied.

A two-way race for the State Senate representing the 15th district yielded heavy local support for incumbent Republican Craig Blair to return to Charleston. Blair pulled in 5,988 votes to 1,415 votes for Mountain Party candidate Donald Kinnie. Polling results from the remainder of the counties in the 15th district — Mineral, Berkeley and Hampshire — will decide that race.

At the state level, Governor Jim Justice brought in 69.5% of Morgan County’s gubernatorial votes, far outpacing Democrat Ben Salango here. Salango rolled up 22.16% of Morgan County votes. Libertarian Erika Kolenich earned 217 votes and Mountain Party candidate Danny Lutz pulled in 292 votes in Morgan County. State level polling results continued to be counted at 9:50 p.m.

Local Republican voters also favored incumbents in Congress. Congressman Alex Mooney got 74% of the local vote to Democrat Cathy Kunkel’s 26%. U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito was a local favorite in her re-election bid. Capito beat out Democrat Paula Jean Swearengin in local voting, 76% to 22%. Libertarian David Moran pulled in 2.6% of the local vote.

President Donald Trump was a clear favorite for Morgan County voters, who cast 6,157 votes for his re-election. Democrat Joe Biden received 1,945 votes here.

Additional races for state level offices will be decided as West Virginia’s 55 counties complete their reporting. Locally, voters backed incumbent Republicans for Secretary of State, State Auditor, Commissioner of Agriculture and Attorney General.

Morgan County Commissioners will canvass the preliminary election results on Monday, November 9 and Tuesday, November 10, after which they will certify the results of the election.