2014-01-29 / Front Page

Races for school board & Commission begin

Multiple candidates threw their hats in the ring for public office during the final days of candidate filing last week. Residents who were interested in running for office had to formalize their intent by Saturday, January 25 in order to be on the ballot for the May 13 primary election.

Commission race

Three candidates have filed for the post of Commissioner currently being held by Stacy Dugan, a Democrat. Dugan is seeking re-election to her seat.

Challenger Joel Tuttle, a Republican, will seek his party’s nomination in the May primary. Tuttle is currently the Executive Director of Morgan County’s Senior Life Services.

Another Republican, Marshall Younker, is seeking the commission seat as well. Younker, a professional firefighter, will face Tuttle in the May primary, vying for their party’s nomination for the November election.

County Commissioners serve sixyear terms and receive a yearly salary of $35,640. All candidates this year had to reside in the county’s second Magisterial District.

School board race

Voters in Morgan County will fill three school board seats — those currently held by David Ambrose, Laura Smith and Aaron Close. The board members will be chosen in May.

Ambrose, Close and Smith have all filed as candidates in the nonpartisan election, seeking to retain their seats on the county’s school board.

In addition, Kent “Brooks” McCumbee, Danise Edmisten and Brenda Hutchinson have all filed as candidates for the three school board seats.

Because of the makeup of the school board, voters can select one member from Magisterial District #1, one member from Magisterial District #2 or up to two members from Magisterial District #3. School board rules dictate no more than two members may serve from each Magisterial District.

Hutchinson is the sole candidate from District #1. Candidates in District #2 include McCumbee, Smith and Edmisten. Candidates from District #3 are Ambrose and Close.

Members of the board serve for four years and are paid $160 per meeting.

Morgan County voters will also pick a Conservation District Supervisor and political party committee members during the 2014 election cycle.

Senate & House of Delegates

Donald H. Cookman, of Romney, will run for election as a State Senator for the 15th Senatorial District, which includes all or parts of Berkeley, Morgan, Hampshire and Mineral counties.

Cookman appointed to fill the unexpired term of Walt Helmick last year. Cookman previously served as Judge of the 21st Judicial Circuit of West Virginia.

Berkeley Springs attorney and former West Virginia House of Delegates Minority Leader Charles S. Trump IV, a Republican, is also seeking the State Senate seat – a new post for him.

Delegate Daryl Cowles will run for re-election as the representative of the 58th district in the House of Delegates. The Republican from Berkeley Springs will face a Republican challenger in the May primary. Ryan Keyser of Augusta will face Cowles in the party runoff. The 58th district includes parts of Morgan and Hampshire Counties.

Republican Delegate Larry Kump of Falling Waters is also seeking to keep his seat in the House of Delegates. Kump represents the 59th district, which includes Berkeley County and part of eastern Morgan County. He faces challengers Saira Blair, a Republican and Democrat Layne Diehl, both of Martinsburg.

State voters will also choose a representative in the U.S. Senate to fill the seat that Senator Jay Rockefeller will vacate upon his retirement.

Republicans Larry Butcher, Shelley Moore Capito and Matthew Dodrill will face off in their party’s primary in May to become the Republican candidate in the November election.

Democrats Dennis Melton, Natalie Tennant and David Wamsley are all vying for their party’s vote in May.

Voters in this region of the state will also select a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Shelley Moore Capito currently holds the seat that represents the state’s second district, which includes Morgan County.

Vying for her seat are Democrats Nick Casey and Republicans Robert Fluharty, Steve Harrison, Charlotte Lane, Alex Mooney, Jim Moss, Meshea Poore, Ken Reed and Ron Walters Jr.

Reed is a pharmacist and business owner from Berkeley Springs.

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