Election results poured into the Pocahontas County courthouse in record time Tuesday night, with Precinct 18 reporting in by 8:02 p.m. The polls closed at 7:30. By shortly after 9 p.m. all the votes were tallied and the unofficial results were reported to the Secretary of State’s office.
Voter turnout was heavy with 65.89 percent (3,725) of the county’s 5,653 registered voters adding their voice to the process. Early voters accounted for 30 percent of that number, as 1,105 took advantage of the early option; 129 absentee ballots were cast, as well.
Most county officials ran unopposed in this election with the exception of the offices of Sheriff and County Commissioner.
Retired State Police First Sergeant Jeff Barlow and Pocahontas County Sheriff’s Deputy Troy McCoy ran a close race for the office of Sheriff. Republican candidate Barlow was the winner in that contest with 1,916 votes to Democrat McCoy’s 1,718.
The tide shifted in the County Commission race with Democrat Jesse Groseclose pulling in 680 votes more than the incumbent, Republican Jamie Walker. Groseclose brought in 1,955 votes to Walker’s 1,275, while Constitution Party candidate John Leyzorek received 410 votes.
Unopposed County Clerk Melissa Bennett, Circuit Clerk Connie Carr, Assessor Tom Lane, Prosecuting Attorney Eugene Simmons and Surveyor Brian Beverage will begin their new terms January 1.
The Brunch Bill Option and the Board of Education Levy were put before the voters, as well.
The Brunch Bill passed with 54.79 percent or 1,962 voters in favor of changing the time of Sunday on-premise alcohol sales from 1 p.m. to 10 a.m.
The school levy failed with 2,296 votes (63.25 percent) against the plan which was proposed to provide major capital improvements and renovations to the county’s schools.
Democrat incumbent Bill Hartman and newcomer Republican Clayton Moore were the top vote getters in Pocahontas County in the House of Delegates 43rd District race, but other counties will need to weigh in to determine the winners.
Democrat Denise Campbell, who left her seat in the House to run for Senate in the 11th District, carried Pocahontas County, 2,249 votes to Republican incumbent Greg Boso’s 1,154.
Although Democrat incumbent Walt Helmick carried his home county of Pocahontas, early results statewide showed Republican Kent Leonhardt leading in the race for Commissioner of Agriculture.
Incumbent Attorney General Patrick Morrisey won over challenger Doug Reynolds in Pocahontas County – a trend that carried statewide.
Republican incumbent Evan Jenkins won over Democrat challenger Matt Detch in Pocahontas County, and early results showed Jenkins to be headed to a second term in the US House of Representatives.
In the governor’s race, Democrat Jim Justice won in Pocahontas County, and claimed victory statewide over Republican candidate Bill Cole.
Republican candidate Donald Trump carried West Virginia in the race for president, but the outcome nationwide between Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton was undecided at press time.
All results at this point are unoffical.
The Board of Election Commissioners will meet Monday, November 14, in the county commission room to canvass and certify the election results.
Jaynell Graham may be contacted at jsgraham@ poc ahontastimes.com