2018-01-24 / Front Page

Ford to face challenge in county race

by Kate Shunney

Morgan County Commissioner Bob Ford will face a challenge in the Republican primary in May as he seeks a third six-year term in office.

Political newcomer Sean Forney has filed as a Republican to run for Ford’s commission seat. Forney is a local businessman and sits on the county’s Economic Development Authority.

Other new candidates to emerge in local races by press time, include two residents seeking seats on the Morgan County school board.

Three board seats are up for election and will be decided during non-partisan voting in the May 9 primary election. They are seats currently held by Aaron Close, Laura Smith and David Ambrose. Close has filed for a re-election run. Ambrose has said he won’t seek another term on the board.

Berkeley Springs attorney Eric Lyda has filed to run for a four-year term on the Board of Education.

James D. Clark, Jr. is also running for a school board seat.

Dan James is a candidate for Morgan County’s Prosecuting Attorney post. James, a Republican, is serving in that job now as an appointee.

Regional races

Eastern Panhandle voters will also select, in the May primary, a judge to serve out the unexpired term of the late John Yoder in the 23rd Judicial Circuit. The Division 2 judge will be picked in a nonpartisan race on May 8.

Debra McLaughlin of Berkeley Springs, who was appointed to serve in Yoder’s spot on the bench until the May election, has filed to run for the office.

David Hammer of Shepherdstown has also filed as a candidate for that judicial seat.

Voters in the Eastern Panhandle 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 has filed to run for Silver’s seat and is currently a judge for the 24th Circuit Family Court.

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

State Senator Charles Trump (R-Morgan) is seeking another term as a state legislator representing the 15th district, which includes Morgan County. He is yet unopposed in his bid for another six-year term in office.

Seeking a seat in the House of Delegates for the 59th district are Larry Kump, a Republican from Falling Waters and John Isner, a Democrat from Hedgesville. Kump previously served as a state delegate and was defeated by Saira Blair (R-Berkeley) who holds the seat now.

Delegate Daryl Cowles (RMorgan) has filed for re-election to his seat in the West Virginia House of Delegates representing the 58th district, which includes Morgan and parts of Hampshire counties. Cowles has been elected six times as delegate and served as the House Majority Leader for the last two sessions of the State Legislature. Cowles is still unopposed in his bid for another two-year term in office.

Candidate filing continues in West Virginia through January 27 at the Secretary of State’s office and at County Clerk’s offices around the state.

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