POINT PLEASANT — The first day of filing for the May Primary saw several local candidates throw their hats into their respective races.
According to the office of Mason County Clerk Diana Cromley, filing first thing Monday morning was Mason County Circuit Clerk Suzi Caldwell (D). Caldwell, a long-time employee of the circuit clerk’s office, was appointed to her position on July 1, 2017, following the retirement of former Circuit Clerk Bill Withers. Caldwell is running for Withers’ unexpired term. This term ends in 2022 as circuit clerks are elected to six-year terms. Withers was reelected in 2016. Candidates for this position must make it through the primary and win the general election in November.
Commission President Tracy Doolittle (R) soon followed Caldwell by filing for reelection to her seat on the Mason County Commission. Doolittle is currently serving out her first term in office. Those running for this seat must live in magisterial districts 1 or 2, as districts 3 and 4 are currently represented by Commissioners Rick Handley and Sam Nibert, respectively. Seats occupied by Handley and Nibert are not up for reelection in 2018. County commissioners are elected to six-year terms and candidates must make it through the primary and win the general election in November.
Candidates for the Mason County Board of Education saw a mix of both familiar and new names on the filing sheets.
As previously reported, there will be three seats up for grabs on the Mason County Board of Education, including those currently occupied by Dale Shobe, Greg Fowler and Jared Billings. Both Shobe and Billings filed their paperwork on Monday to run for reelection. Also filing in this race, newcomers Ashley Cossin and Jeff Wittman.
Shobe, Fowler and Cossin are in district 2, Billings is in district 4, and Wittman is in district 3. There can be no more than two candidates elected from the same district. Not up for reelection are School Board Members Rhonda Tennant and Meagan Bonecutter. Tennant is from district 1 while Bonecutter is from district 3.
Candidates running for the board of education will be elected on May 8 and begin their terms on July 1. These are four-year terms.
Also filing on Monday were candidates for their respective party’s executive committees. Those filing were Bonnie Fruth, Linda Morris and Tom McNeeley, all filing for spots on the Democratic Executive Committee. Fruth is in district 4, Morris in district 6 and McNeeley in district. 5. One man and one woman from each district in the county can be elected to their respective party’s executive committee.
Executive Committee members and the race for Conservation District Supervisor will also be decided this spring.
The candidate filing period ends on Jan. 27. The last day of the filing period is on a Saturday and though Cromley’s office isn’t open that day, she said as long as the filing documents (complete with payment) are postmarked by Jan. 27, they will be accepted. The county clerk’s office is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday.
For more information on filing fees or other questions, contact Cromley’s office at 304-675-1997.
More on state races in an upcoming edition.