(Editor’s note: This is part of a continuing series of election previews for races voters will decide on Nov. 8. More will follow in upcoming editions.)
POINT PLEASANT — The race for Mason County Commissioner is one of a few county races local voters are watching, with newcomers Sam Nibert (R) and Rick Pearson (D), facing off to win the seat which will be vacated by current Commissioner Miles Epling. Epling did not seek reelection.
Each candidate was asked to provide background information about themselves, which could include anything from employment history to qualifications for the office they are seeking. Each candidate was also asked to answer the question “Why I ran for this office?” All candidates were to provide this information within reasonable limits of a designated word count for the sake of fairness.
Previews will begin with responses from candidates based on alphabetical order.
Sam Nibert background information:
“My name is Sam Nibert, the son of the late Leroy and Winifred Nibert. I attended Woods Elementary School during my youth, then proceeded onto Point Pleasant High School where I graduated in 1979. I then furthered my education at West Virginia University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1983. My completion of my education has led me to my current employment status through the Mason County Board of Education as a teacher. I have been employed by the board of education for the past 23 years and have been active in the Future Farmers of America (FFA) for the past eight years. I am currently the vocational agriculture teacher at the Mason County Career Center. At this point in my career and personal life, my wife (Mindy Stover-Nibert) and I decided this candidacy would be an excellent opportunity for my professional career. This opportunity will also help make positive changes in our county for my son, Colton Dean, my past, present, and future students, and the current citizens of Mason County.”
Sam Nibert “Why I ran for this office?”
“There are several issues that are a concern to me. One of those issues that needs confronted is the need for more jobs in Mason County. In 1969, there were 7,859 jobs in our area which increased to 11,291 jobs in 1979. Since then, there has been a decline in jobs back down to 8,738 jobs in our area as of 2014 and the same today. Mason County citizens need to know it is a very critical time for ourselves and our families. The tax base is crucial to the planning efforts of our government and this county needs help. If elected, I will be a working county commissioner to bring a new voice, set goals, and create a vision to lead each of you into the 21st century. I am willing to fight the fight but I first must ask for your vote on Tuesday, November 8. If you give me the opportunity, I will not let you down.”
Rick Pearson background information:
“My name is Rick Pearson, I’m running for Mason County Commissioner. I own my own auction company that’s located in Mason, West Virginia, and have been self-employed for 30-plus years. I attended and graduated from Wahama High School in 1977. I have served as president on the Mason County Fair Board, and the Board of Directors for the West Virginia Auctioneers Association. I have volunteered at the Putnam County Fair, Mason County Fair, and others, selling the 4-H and FFA fair animals for 30-plus years. I attend church at Hopewell Baptist Church, in Mt Alto, West Virginia.”
Rick Pearson “Why I ran for this office?”
“My reason for running for county commission, is because I love my community and this community has been very good to me. I want to give back by working to bring in jobs. While volunteering with the various county fairs, I have become attached to the children I’ve watched grow up in our community and wish to build our community into a place where our children have more opportunity to work and have careers in their home county. Therefore, making it possible for them to raise their own families in the community they grew up in and the community that they love should they so choose to. There’s great opportunity in Mason County by utilizing rail, river, and historical resources for growth. I am committed to working hard to bring those resources to fruition. I am willing to listen to any concerns and/or ideas the citizens of Mason County may have and would appreciate your vote in the upcoming election, November 8. Please go out and vote no matter who you vote for.”
Reach Beth Sergent at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.