by Ron Gregory
With the filing deadline approaching for the 2016 elections, many positions are being contested in the state and region.
The deadline for filing is Saturday, January 30, at midnight. While most County Clerk offices and the Secretary of State’s office are open for extended Saturday hours, Secretary of State Natalie Tennant has pointed out that any mailed filing forms must be postmarked before midnight, Saturday.
The Secretary of State’s office will be open from 9 a.m. to midnight for candidate filing. Boone County Clerk Gary Williams said his office will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Lincoln County Clerk Diril Baker’s office will be open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Logan County Clerk John Turner’s office will be open from 8:30 a.m. until noon; Kanawha County Clerk Vera McCormick’s office is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; but Mingo County Clerk Jim Hatfield’s office will be closed.
As of Friday at noon, 15 candidates have filed for President of the United States. Incumbent Democrat Barack Obama cannot run because of the two-term limit.
Those having filed in West Virginia are: Republicans Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, John Kasich, Marco Rubio and Donald Trump; and Democrats Hillary Clinton, Rocky De La Fuente, Paul Farrell, Jr., Keith Judd, Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders.
For House of Representatives, incumbent Republican David McKinley has filed in the First District. Also running in the first is Democrat Mike Manypenny. In the Second District, incumbent Republican Alex Mooney is being opposed by Marc Savitt in the primary. Former state legislator Mark Hunt is thusfar unopposed on the Democrat side. In the Third District, Democrat Matt Detch has filed to challenge Republican incumbent Evan Jenkins.
State Senate Minority Leader Jeff Kessler entered the Democrat primary field Friday when he filed for Governor. Already on the D side were former U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin and Greenbrier Resort owner Jim Justice. Senate President Bill Cole is the lone Republican candidate to succeed Democrat Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, who is term-limited from running again.
Tennant is seeking another four-year Secretary of State term. She is a Democrat and will be challenged in the primary by former Clarksburg Mayor Patsy Trecost. Republican Mac Warner is also seeking the job.
Democrat State Auditor Glen Gainer has also announced his retirement at the end of the year. Democrats seeking the job are Mary Ann Claytor, Jason Pizatella and Robin Righter.
State Treasurer John Perdue, a Democrat, is seeking re-election. Republicans Larry Faircloth and Ann Urling have also filed.
For Commissioner of Agriculture, a rematch from 2012 may occur. Incumbent Democrat Walt Helmick is being contested by Republican Kent Leonhardt. The Attorney General race may be between incumbent Republican Patrick Morrisey and Democrat legislator Doug Reynoods.
Incumbent Supreme Court Justice Brent Benjamin filed for re-election Tuesday. Others in the non-partisan race are Wayne King, Beth Walker and Bill Wooten.
For the State Senate seat District Six being vacated by Cole, Democrats include Brandon Barker of Williamson and Rocky Seay of Princeton. The lone Republican who has filed is Chandler Swope of Bluefield.
Incumbent Democrat Art Kirkendoll is seeking re-election in the Seventh Senate District. Richard Ojeda has filed against him in the primary. Republicans running are Jordan Ray Bridges and Gary Johngrass.
Democrat Glenn Jeffries of Red House has filed to challenge incumbent Republican Senator Chris Walters of Nitro in District Eight.
Appointed Republican Senator Sue Cline has filed for election in the Ninth District. She will be challenged by Democrat Mike Goode. This is the seat left vacant with Republican-turned-Democrat-turned Republican State Senator Daniel Hall’s resignation. Naming a replacement ended up before the state Supreme Court, which ordered Governor Tomblin to appoint a member of the GOP.
Incumbent Corey Palumbo of Charleston is the lone Democrat to file in District 17. Republican Chris Stansbury has also filed.
In the 13th House District, Democrats Scott Brewer and Rosalea Juba-Plumley have filed. Republicans Amanda Cadle, Kathie Crouse, Joshua Higginbotham, Michael Ihle and Robert Marchal are also in the race.
Republican Geoff Foster and Democrat Jeffery Smith have filed in the 15th District. Democrats Ronnie Blankenship and incumbent Justin Marcum have filed in the 20th District.
In the 21st District, appointed incumbent Phyllis White and Vivian Livingood have filed on the Democrat side. Republicans are Mark Dean and Roger Stacy.
Incumbent Democrat Jeff Eldridge has filed for re-election in the 22nd District. Another Democrat, Gary McCallister, who lost in the 2014 general election after a controversial win in the primary, has also filed. Republicans in the race include incumbent Michel Moffatt, Zack Maynard and Eric Johnson.
Former Boone Sheriff Rodney Miller and Larry Blethen are seeking the House nomination in the 23rd District to replace Republican Delegate Joshua Nelson, who is running for Boone County Commission. Both Miller and Blethen are Democrats.
In the 24th District, Democrat incumbents Rupie Phillips and Ralph Rodighiero are running again. They will challenged in the primary by Michael Johnson of Logan.
The 35th District includes Democrats Ben Adams, Andrew Byrd, Devin Casey, Benjamin Sheridan and Shawn Little. Republicans are Moore Capito, Calvin Grimm, Bill Johnson, Charlotte Lane, incumbent Eric Nelson and Keith Pauley.
Candidates in the 36th District include Republicans Justin Quinn, Chelsea Walker-Gaskins and incumbent Brad White. Democrats in the race are Andrew Robinson, incumbent Larry Rowe, Danny Wells and Don Wilson.
Incumbent Democrat Mike Pushkin is unopposed in the 37th District. Three Republicans and a Democrat have filed in the 38th District. Members of the GOP are Nancy Foster, David Bender and Bob Keller. The Democrat is Tom Tull.
Incumbent Republican Ron Walters leads the 39th District field. Also running are Democrat Shannon Hagerman and the Mountain Party’s Chris Reed. Incumbent Republican Speaker Tim Armstead is being challenged by Scott Straight of the Mountain Party.
In Judicial Circuit Seven, incumbent Circuit Judge Eric O’Briant is unopposed in Division Two. Candidates in Division One include Joshua Butcher and Douglas Witten. Judge races are non-partisan.
All seven Kanawha County incumbent judges remain unopposed in their respective divisions. They are Jennifer Bailey, Duke Bloom, Tod Kaufman, Charles King Jr., James Stucky, Joanna Tabit and Carrie Webster.
Incumbent Judges Jay Hoke and Will Thompson are unopposed in their divisions in Circuit 25. Incumbents Phillip Stowers and Joe Reeder are unopposed in their Circuit 29 divisions. Robert Carlton is challenging incumbent Judge Miki Thompson in the 30th Circuit.
Incumbent Sabrina Deskins and challenger Tonya Hatfield will battle it out for Family Court Judge in the Eighth Circuit. Kelly Codispotti is unopposed in Division One. Donna Pratt and Christopher Workman are candidates in Division Two.
Bobby Hale and Cynthia Jarrell will fight it out for Division One in the Tenth Circuit while Ron Salmons is unopposed. Jarrell is the incumbent in One with Scott Elswick retiring from Division Two.
In the 11th Circuit, there is only one contested division where Jim Douglas is running against Sharon Mullens. Unopposed at this point are Kenneth Ballard, Rob Montgomery, Lera VanMeter and Joe Zak.
Meanwhile, in Boone County, Williams and Roger Toney are still the only candidates for County Clerk. Both are Democrats. Democrat Craig Bratcher and Republican Joshua Nelson have filed for County Commission, where incumbent Atholl Halstead is retiring. Nelson is currently a member of the House of Delegates.
Democrat Keith Randolph is the candidate to file for Prosecutor, where he is the incumbent. Former Sheriff and current Assessor Jennings Miller and Sheriff Randall White have filed for Sheriff as Democrats. Chief Deputy Assessor Susan Baisden and Scottie Cook will vie for the Democrat nomination for Assessor with Republican Chase Hill being unopposed.
Incumbent Porter Snodgrass is unopposed for Magistrate in Division One. Two have filed in Division Two, Sam Burns and Danny Moore Jr. Johnny McClure is a Democrat unopposed for Surveyor.
Incumbent Democrat Sue Ann Zickefoose is the lone candidate for Circuit Clerk. There are four candidates for Board of Education: Chuck Gibson, Susan Kimbler, Jenni Nelson and Gary Woodrum. Candidates for Conservation District Supervisor are Gary Hayner and Reggie Woodrum.
Baker, a Democrat, is unopposed for County Clerk in Lincoln. Democrat incumbent Charles Vance and a fellow D, Nick Blair, are running for County Commission. Incumbent Democrat Jim Gabehart is unopposed for Prosecuting Attorney.
A Republican, Gary Linville, has filed for Sheriff. Incumbent Democrat Ken Farley and Democrat Tim Pullen had filed previously. Appointed incumbent Democrat Assessor Guy Browning is the sole candidate for that office.
For Magistrate, Division One, the candidates are Kay Adkins, Kim Clayton and Roger Smith. Incumbent Mona Snodgrass had earlier announced her plans to retire. In Division Two, only incumbent Sophia Tully is running.
Incumbent Democrat Charles Brumfield is the only candidate for Circuit Clerk. For Board of Education, the candidates are Terry Brumfield, Ed Rabel, David Webb and Larry Wilkerson. John Thompson is the lone candidate for Conservation District Supervisor.
Incumbent Turner is the only candidate for election to his job as Logan County Clerk. He is a Democrat. County Commission candidates include incumbent Democrat Danny Ellis and fellow Democrats, Sherman Grimmett and Joshua Lyall. Prosecuting Attorney John Bennett, a Democrat, is unopposed.
Also unopposed is incumbent Sheriff, Democrat Sonya Porter; and assessor Harold Porter, Jr., a Democrat.
There are three Magistrate candidates in Division One: Steven Gray, Joe Mendez and Estel Murray. Two incumbents are unopposed: Dwight Williamson in Division Two and Leonard Codispoti in Division Three.
Democrats Tommy Kirk and Mark McGrew have filed for Circuit Clerk. Board of Education candidates include Darrell Bias, T.J. Blevins, Moss Burgess, Jeremy Farley, George Howes, Roy Lambert, Mark Noe, Larry Rogers, Stephen Stapleton, Jackson Traylor and Ed White.
George Mathis is the only candidate for Conservation District Supervisor.
County Clerk candidates in Mingo are Democrat incumbent Hatfield and fellow Dem, Yogi Croaff. Incumbent John Mark Hubbard and challenger Thomas Taylor are running as Democrats for the County Commission.
For Prosecutor, Democrats Duke Jewell and incumbent Teresa Maynard are on the ballot. Three Democrats are running for Sheriff: Barry Blair, incumbent James Smith and Earl Spence. A Republican, Marty Fortner, has also filed.
In the Assessor race are Democrat Amber Bishop and incumbent Democrat Ramona Mahon. For Magistrate, in Division One, the candidates are Brock Mounts, Donald Sansom and Billy Sexton. In Division Two, Tick Fugett, Dave Justice and Barry Marcum are running. In Division Three, the candidates include incumbent Jim Harvey, Scott Smith and Donald Stevens.
Democrat Jimmy Lee Webb is running for Surveyor. Circuit Clerk candidates include former Sheriff Lonnie Hannah, Brandy Haney and Billy Sammons. All are Democrats.
Those running for Board of Education are Donnie Canterbury, James Farley, Larry Ferguson, Sabrina Grace and Nathan Hatfield.
In Kanawha County, incumbent McCormick is the lone County Clerk candidate. She is a Republican. Fellow GOPer Lance Wheeler is challenging Democrat incumbent Dave Hardy for County Commission. Incumbent Circuit Clerk Cathy Gatson is unopposed.
Democrat Assessor Sallie Robinson has no opposition as of yet. Neither does Democrat Michael Rutherford, who is seeking to succeed his brother, Johnny, as Sheriff. Mike Rutherford was previously Sheriff for two terms.
Appointed incumbent Republican Chuck Miller is unopposed for Prosecuting Attorney.
For Magistrate, incumbent Pete Lopez is unopposed in Divisioin One. Incumbent Ward Harshbarger will meet Cecilia Thomas in DivisionTwo. Brent Hall will be challenged by Marva Lee Crouch and Kathy Ferguson in Division Three. Incumbent Jack Pauley is unopposed in Division Four as are Mike Sisson, Joe Shelton, Judy Yeager and Kim Aaron, in Divisions Four, Five, Six, Seven and Eight, respectively. Incumbent Dan Halloran will be challenged by Dianna Graves, Todd Chevalier and Margaret Chico-Eddy in Division Nine. The only candidate in Division Ten is incumbent Tracy Strickland after a potential challenger, Pam Nixon, withdrew.
Board of Education candidates include Ric Cavender in District One; incumbent Jim Crawford from District Three; and Adam Knauff in District Four.
Frank Naab and Aimee Figgatt are running for Conservation District Supervisor with Bob Gunnoe and Jeffrey Snyder Democrats for Surveyor.