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Smith ousts incumbent Berkeley County sheriff

November 08, 2000

Smith ousts incumbent Berkeley County sheriff



By BOB PARTLOW / Staff Writer, Martinsburg


MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Democratic Pikeside businessman and former Berkeley County sheriff's deputy W. Randy Smith ousted one-term incumbent Republican Berkeley County Sheriff Ronald Jones by a sizable margin in Tuesday's balloting, according to unofficial final totals Wednesday.

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With all 46 precincts reporting, Smith won by a margin of 12,207 to 9,565.

"I think the fact I've lived here all my life, I'm in business here and I've been in criminal justice work for 25 years made the difference," Smith said. He owns a bail bond business among other ventures.

He said he thinks controversies surrounding Jones - including disciplining of a deputy who wore a Smith campaign hat off duty, internal problems and issues that were raised about Smith's past - worked against Jones.

Jones, 58, could not be reached for comment. He had said during the campaign that he had accomplished good things in his first term as sheriff and his emphasis was on continuing those efforts and developing as many sources for grant money as he could.

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Smith, 53, said the first thing he will do is talk to people in the office to determine what changes should be made to improve the office.

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