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Circuit Court race up in air

May 10, 2000|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - With absentee ballots still out, Gray Silver III finished Tuesday's primary election with a 15 vote lead over David Camilletti in the Fourth Division Circuit Court race, according to an unofficial tally.

When all absentee ballots are counted and any challenges to ballots settled in canvasses to be held in Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties on Friday, Camilletti said Wednesday the count could fluctuate by as many 50 votes, which could swing the election.

"I'm still alive," Camilletti said Wednesday.

In Tuesday's Democratic primary, Silver, 46, of Martinsburg, finished with 3,770 votes, while Camilletti, 43, of Shepherdstown, had 3,755.

Patrick Henry, 52, of Martinsburg, was third with 2,155 votes, according to unofficial results from the three counties in the 23rd circuit.

Totals will not be final until officials in each county canvass the ballots.

Unofficially, in Berkeley County, Silver had 2,219 votes, Henry had 1,517 and Camilletti had 1,232.

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Camilletti received 2,063 votes in Jefferson County, while Silver had 1,059 and Henry had 456.

In Morgan County, Silver had 492 votes to Camilletti's 460, and Henry had 182.

Jefferson County Clerk John Ott said up to 30 absentee ballots hadn't arrived by the night of the primary, but could be counted if they arrive and had been postmarked on time. Some ballots may be challenged, as well, he said.

In Berkeley County, 27 absentee ballots that had been obtained by voters had yet to be returned by the primary, according to Circuit Clerk Virginia Sine.

The number of outstanding ballots in Morgan County could not be determined Wednesday.

Camilletti said he has been told nine more Democratic absentee ballots are expected in Berkeley County and 17 in Jefferson County. He said he also expects about 10 to 20 ballots to be challenged in each of those counties.

Camilletti said he thought the race would be close, but not this close.

Silver did not return a call to his office for comment Wednesday afternoon.

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