Early voting begins April 25

By Beth Sergent - bsergent@aimmediamidwest.com

POINT PLEASANT — The primary election season is heating up with early voting in West Virginia right around the corner.

Registered voters may cast their ballots (early) beginning April 25 – May 5 at the Mason County Courthouse. Hours are 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday and 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturdays during the early voting period. All early voting takes place on the second floor of the Mason County Courthouse in the County Commission meeting room. For more information, contact the office of Mason County Clerk Diana Cromley at 304-675-1997.

Voters will cast ballots in the following races:

Mason County Commission: Tracy Doolittle (R), Point Pleasant, District II. Doolittle, an incumbent, is running for re-election and a second term in office. Challenging Doolittle in the GOP primary will be Dee Dee Sword Rodgers (R), Point Pleasant, District II. For the Democrats, Pauletta Randolph King (D), Point Pleasant, District II, has also filed as has K.D. Hess (D), Leon, District II. Those running for this seat must live in magisterial districts I or II. County commissioners are elected to six-year terms.

Mason County Circuit Clerk: Suzi Caldwell (D), Point Pleasant, is the lone Democrat to file for this office. Caldwell, the incumbent, was appointed to this position in July 2017 following the retirement of former Circuit Clerk Bill Withers. Elizabeth A. Jones (R), is the lone Republican to file for this office. The candidate winning this race will serve out Withers’ unexpired term which ends in 2022.

Mason County Board of Education: Dale Shobe (incumbent), Point Pleasant, District II. Jared Billings (incumbent), Gallipolis Ferry, District IV. Jeff Wittman, Point Pleasant, District III. Ashley Thomas Cossin, Leon, District II. David Lee Siders, Point Pleasant, District II. Barry Sharp, Leon, District II. Mickey Whalen, Point Pleasant, District II. There can be no more than two candidates elected from the same district. Not up for reelection are seats held by School Board Members Rhonda Tennant and Meagan Bonecutter. Tennant is from District 1 while Bonecutter is from District III. 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. Three seats are up for grabs.

As previously reported, the Mason County Board of Education voted to place the excess levy renewal on the May 8 primary election ballot. A levy has continuously been in place in Mason County since 1950. It has been noted by school administration officials that the approval of the $7.5 million levy will not increase taxes for the citizens.

Superintendent of Schools Jack Cullen had previously stated one of the top benefits of the levy is the extra staff it provides. Presently, 10 additional professional and 41 service personnel above what the state formula provides are employed with levy funds. Additional nurses, licensed practical nurses, aides for students with high needs, and counselors are among the positions above the state aid funding. The levy also funds school supplies, helps with maintaining and operating school facilities and more. Additional information will be supplied on the levy in an upcoming edition.

Also filing are candidates for their respective party’s executive committees. Those filing for the Democratic County Executive Committee are Agnes Roush, Mason, District 1; Linda Lou Brewer, New Haven, District 2; Shirley Livingston, Leon, District 3; Bonnie J. Fruth, Point Pleasant, District 4; Linda Morris, Point Pleasant, District 6; Jerrie L. Howard, Point Pleasant, District 6; Freeda Mayes, Ashton, District 8; Marty Reed, Point Pleasant, District 5. Tom McNeely, Point Pleasant, District 5; Timothy J. Stewart, Mason, District 1; Floyd Sayre, Point Pleasant, District 4; Jeffrey R. Fowler, Mason, District 1; Scott Brewer, New Haven, District 2; Randall Mayes, Ashton, District 8; Kevin Fooce, Point Pleasant, District 6; Greg Barker, Leon, District 3; Marc Kearns, Letart, District 3.

Those filing for the Republican County Executive Committee are Sarah Stover, Mason, District 1; Katie Zellmer, Apple Grove, District 8; Anna Maria Butler, Gallipolis Ferry, District 7; Olivia Burdette Warner, Point Pleasant, District 5; Donna Kay Akers, Point Pleasant, District 6; Dianne Buxton Buck, Leon, District 3; Merlie Hart, Leon, District 4; Ricky Kearns, Mason, District 1; Jacob G. Hill, Point Pleasant, District 5; R. Michael Shaw, Jr., Leon, District 3; Jim Butler, Gallipolis Ferry, District 7; Curtis “Curt” McConihay, Point Pleasant, District 4; Lloyd A. Akers, Point Pleasant, District 6.

14th Delegate District Executive Committee GOP: Anna Maria Butler, Gallipolis Ferry; Jim Butler, Gallipolis Ferry.

Third Congressional District Executive Committee GOP: Anna Maria Butler, Gallipolis Ferry; Jim Butler, Gallipolis Ferry.

Fourth Senatorial District Executive Committee GOP: Anna Maria Butler, Gallipolis Ferry; Jim Butler, Gallipolis Ferry.

One man and one woman from each district in the county can be elected to their respective party’s executive committee. Executive committee members will be decided in the May Primary.

Conservation District Supervisor: Chuck T. Lipscomb, Letart. Conservation District Supervisor is elected in the May Primary.

According to the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office, the following have filed:

U.S. Senate: Don Blankenship (R), Sprigg; Evan Jenkins (R), Huntington; Thomas (Tom) Willis (R), Martinsburg. Bo Copley (R), Delbarton; Incumbent Joseph Manchin, III (D), Fairmont; Patrick Morrisey (R), Harpers Ferry; Jack Newbrough (R), Weirton; Paula Jean Swearengin (D), Coal City.

U.S. House of Representatives, Congressional District 3: Paul E. Davis (D), Huntington. Richard Ojeda, II, (D), Holden. Rupie Phillips (R), Lorado. Ayne Amjad (R), Beckley. Marty Gearheart (R), Bluefield. Mr. Shirley Love (D), Oak Hill. Janice “Byrd” Hagerman (D), Mt. Hope. Conrad Lucas (R), Huntington. Carol Miller (R), Huntington. Philip Payton (R), Milton. Rick Snuffer (R), Grandview.

State Senate, Senatorial District 4: Eric J. Tarr (R), Scott Depot. Incumbent Mark Drennan (R), Hurricane. Brian Prim (D), Fraziers Bottom. (Amy Grady, an independent candidate from Mason County, will appear on the general ballot in November).

House of Delegates, District 13: Incumbent Scott Brewer (D), New Haven. Incumbent Joshua Kurt Higginbotham (R), Poca. Scott Cadle (R), Letart. (Todd Mullins, an independent candidate from Mason County, will appear on the general ballot in November).

House of Delegates, District 14: Incumbent Jim Butler (R), Gallipolis Ferry. Brianne Solomon (D), Culloden.

Primary Election Day is Tuesday, May 8.

By Beth Sergent


Beth Sergent is editor of Ohio Valley Publishing.

Beth Sergent is editor of Ohio Valley Publishing.