Editor’s Note: As we approach the November General Election, the Point Pleasant Register will be running “Meet the Candidate” profiles, allowing those running for office in contested races to introduce themselves to voters. Each candidate was given the same word count parameters, then asked to provide background information on themselves and to answer the question “Why are you running for this office?”
MASON COUNTY — Today’s installment of “Meet the Candidates” focuses on the race for Mason County Commission, which sees Democrat incumbent Rick Handley, facing off against Republican challenger Tommy Mayes.
Candidates and their responses to the Register’s request for information, are listed below in alphabetical order.
I have been blessed with a wonderful family and community in which to live. I am the son of Anna “Sappy” Handley and the late Ernest Handley. I was married to my late wife, Sue Casto Handley, for 32 years and we had three children: Carrie Handley Wamsley (Jeff), Kimberly Handley Hunt (Rick) and Stephen Handley (Morgan). My wife Tanya Hunt Handley and I have been married for 15 years and have two children: Lizzie and Trent. I am the grandfather of Catherine, Cason, and Cailey Payne; Loren (Justin) & Niko Johnson; Logan, Gabriella, Reece, Hayden and Beckham Hunt; and Blane Handley.
A lifelong resident of Mason County, I graduated from Point Pleasant High School (1970) and Marshall University (1974) and earned my Masters plus 45 hours. I am proud to have taught the students of Mason County for 35 years and coached for a total of 22 years at Point Pleasant and Hannan. I continue to substitute teach.
I am a 52-year member of Main Street Baptist Church and have had various leadership positions there. I began serving our community as an elected official in 1983 when I was elected to the Point Pleasant City Council.
I am active in the community with many organizations, including, President of the PPHS Alumni Association, Chairman of the Green Acres Regional Center in Lesage, Board of Director for the West Virginia County Commissioners’ Association, Rotary Member, Member of the TriRiver Transit Board and a Life Member of the Point Pleasant River Museum.
Why are you running for this office?
“I am running for re-election as Mason County Commissioner because I have a passion to continue to serve the citizens of our great County with integrity and responsibility. In 1996, I felt that I needed to further serve my community and County, so, with the support of my family and friends and the people of Mason County, I was elected as Commissioner. Since then, I have strived to always do my best to represent the interests of all Mason County Citizens.
“I am proud of my record as Commissioner. Working with others, I have accomplished many great things for our County, including fighting to ensure Route 35 is completed with NO TOLLS; erecting the new health department and EMS buildings; working to secure grants to fund projects such as remodeling the judicial annex and family court; obtaining a new and safer sheriff’s department; working with the Mason County PSD to provide water projects throughout the County; making improvements to 4-H buildings, the fairgrounds, and the Courthouse; dealing with budgetary issues surrounding the Regional Jail Costs; ensuring the Animal Shelter is run properly and humanely; working to bring new businesses to our county; working with the Health Department and school officials to make our courthouse and schools safer during COVID-19; and continuing to work on getting broadband access for more of Mason County—we have completed a broadband study to obtain additional funding to bring this necessary economic development tool to Mason County. What I am most proud of, though, is that I have listened and actively addressed any issue or concern anyone has brought to me.
“I have proudly represented you for 24 years and am asking for your support so I may continue to serve with the same dedication, honesty and trustworthiness you have come to expect of me.”
My name is Tommy Mayes and I am running for Mason County Commissioner. I am the proud son of, former commissioner, Tucker and Cathy Mayes. I am happily married to my wife Crystal. We have two exceptional boys Tucker and Trenton. We have lived in Mason County our entire lives and currently live in Point Pleasant. I was raised in Mason and proudly attended Wahama High School. My wife and I are local business owners. We take pride in creating and maintaining jobs in Mason County. We are responsible for over 60 paychecks every week going back into our community. I was a Union Carpenter, a Production Group Leader at Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia for 13 years, and the Owner/Founder of Alltek Environmental Services.
Why are you running for this office?
“Following in the footsteps of my father Thomas ‘Tucker’ Mayes, I have much to offer the residents of Mason County. My management and business experience brings a new and fresh perspective to the Commission Team. I want to inspire our youth to be leaders and take part in growing their communities. We have to work together to accomplish our goals. When elected, I plan to create a business welcoming environment that will stem growth, provide jobs, and allow Mason County to prosper. My Dad always taught us to ‘Do good when people aren’t looking and expect nothing in return.’
“I am asking for your vote to help us build ‘all’ of Mason County together!”