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Beard, McLaughlin win primary election

Ballot commissioners receive voter numbers from each precinct Tuesday night as members of the public await election results in the courtroom at the Pocahontas County Courthouse.
Ballot commissioners receive voter numbers from each precinct Tuesday night as members of the public await election results in the courtroom at the Pocahontas County Courthouse.

Bearing in mind that results are still unofficial, it appears that Pocahontas County will have at least one new member on its County Commission on January 1. Dunmore farmer David McLaughlin won Tuesday’s Democratic primary election for the Northern District, unseating one-term incumbent David Fleming. McLaughlin received 511 votes to Fleming’s 436. McLaughlin will face Republican State Farm Bureau President Charles Wilfong in the November general election for the Northern District commission seat.

Durbin businessman and fire chief Buster Varner received 280 votes and Green Bank resident Patti Heinemann received 59 votes.

Hillsboro beef farmer and incumbent County Commissioner William Beard won the Democratic primary for the Southern District with 633 votes. High Rocks Academy for Girls Executive Director Sarah Riley received 425 votes and Hillsboro resident Shay Huffman received 216 votes. Beard was appointed in June of last year to serve out the remainder of the late Dolan Irvine’s term. He will be challenged by Republican Norman Alderman, of Beaver Creek, in the general election this fall.

In the only other contested local race, Jessica Hefner, of Marlinton, defeated Lynn Jordan, of Marlinton, for the Central District Board of Education seat. Hefner received 803 votes to Jordan’s 629.

In the race for the U.S. Senate, West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant appeared on her way to an easy victory in the Democratic primary with 75 percent of the votes, statewide, as of 11 p.m. Republican Shelley Capito also won her primary easily, with 85 percent of the vote. In Pocahontas County, Tennant received 66 percent of the Democratic votes and Capito won 82 percent of the Republican votes.

In the 3rd U.S. Congressional District race, incumbent Nick Rahall is projected to win the Democratic primary, with 65 percent of the votes and more than one-third of precincts reporting. Rahall will face unopposed Republican challenger Evan Jenkins in the general election.

Robert Karnes, of Tallmansville, defeated Steve Foster, of Buckhannon, in a tight race for the 11th District State Senate Republican nomination. Karnes will challenge Democratic incumbent Gregory Tucker in the general election.

Pocahontas County native Charles Kinnison, now of Elkins, finished first in the Republican primary for the 43rd District House of Delegates seat. Kinnison received 959 votes, and Mary Boltz, of Elkins, received 579 votes. Kinnison and Boltz will oppose incumbent Democrats Denise Campbell and William Hartman in the general election. Republican Lonnie Randall, of Elkins, received 547 votes.

A total of 1,827 voters cast ballots in Pocahontas County – 1,317 Democratic, 495 Republican and 15 non-partisan. The Board of Ballot Commissioners will convene at 8:30 Monday morning, May 19, to canvass the election results. Nineteen provisional ballots, also known as challenged ballots, will be counted at that time.


Precincts counted 15/15
Total registered voters 5,287
Democratic registered voters 2,625
Republican registered voters 1,414
Nonpartisan registered voters 1,224
Total ballots cast 1,827
Democratic ballots cast 1,317
Republican ballots cast 495
Nonpartisan ballots cast 15
Voter turnout 34.56%
Democratic voter turnout 50.17%
Republican voter turnout 35.01%
Nonpartisan voter turnout 1.23%

U.S. Senate – Democratic
Dennis Melton 254
Natalie Tennant 775
David Wamsley 142

U.S. Senate – Republican
Larry Butcher 41
Shelley Capito 372
Matthew Dodrill 43

U.S. House District 3 – Democratic
Richard Ojeda 280
Nick Rahall 934

U.S. House District 3 – Republican
Evan Jenkins 334

State Senate District 11 – Republican
Steve Foster 219
Robert Karnes 203

State Senate District 11 – Democratic
Gregory Tucker 858

House of Delegates District 43 – Republican (2 advance)
Mary Boltz 158
Charles Kinnison 307
Lonnie Randall 136

House of Delegates District 43 – Democratic (2 advance)
Denise Campbell 943
William Hartman 766

County Commission – Northern – Democratic
Patti Heinemann 59
David McLaughlin 511
Kenneth Varner 280
David Fleming 436

County Commission – Northern – Republican
Charles Wilfong 352

County Commission – Southern – Democratic
William Beard 633
Shay Huffman 216
Sarah Riley 425

County Commission – Southern – Republican
Norman Alderman 127

Board of Education
Jessica Hefner – Central District – 803
Lynn Jordan – Central District – 629
Jan McNeel – Southern District – 1,123 (Uncontested)
Emery Grimes – Northern District – 914 (Uncontested)
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