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Strauss, Pennington lead Berkeley Commission race

May 10, 2000|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Howard Strauss led two other Republicans while C. B. "Butch" Pennington was running ahead of a fellow Democrat in the Berkeley County Commission primaries Tuesday.

With 41 of 46 precincts compiled, Strauss, 46, a commercial developer, had 1,622 votes. His GOP opponents, Steve Teufel and George Edward Cole Sr., had 1,114 and 353 votes, respectively.

In the Democratic primary, Pennington had 2,316 votes and Patricia Washington had 1,861, according to unofficial results.

If Strauss, 46, of Martinsburg, and Pennington, 53, of Martinsburg, hold their leads, they will face each other in November for a single vacant seat on the three-person commission.

D. Wayne Dunham, who holds the seat now, did not run for re-election.

Teufel, 40, is a part-time temporary employee for Federal Emergency Management Agency who lives in Martinsburg,

Cole, 75, is a private investigator and security officer who lives in Kearneysville, W.Va.

Pennington, the owner of Pennington's Auto Center since 1978, ran twice before for the Berkeley County Commission. He lost in a primary in 1992, and lost in a general election in 1998.

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Pennington said he will spend the next six months reiterating his main point in the primary campaign, which is that Berkeley County needs the Local Powers Act as a way to collect impact fees. "I think that's what the campaign in the fall is going to center on," he said.

Washington, 45, of Martinsburg, is a computer lab aid/system operator for Berkeley County Board of Education who was running for County Commission for the second time.

Pennington said she ran a good race and there is "a place for her in government."

Strauss served one year on the commission after he was appointed to finish an unexpired term. He won the Republican primary and the general election in 1996, but his victory was overturned because he lived in the same district as Dunham at the time of the general election. The West Virginia Supreme Court awarded the seat to Robert Burkhart.

In his campaign, Strauss called alcohol and zoning the key issues. He said he is against zoning, but in favor of stricter subdivision laws.

Strauss compiled a platform that included proposals for an updated comprehensive land use and building management plan better marketing of the local industrial park and an end to funding for community nonprofit groups.

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