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Pennington wins Dem nomination for Berkeley commission

May 15, 2002|BY SARAH MULLIN

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Democrat Butch Pennington and Republican Steve Teuffel won their respective party's nominations and will face each other in November to succeed long-time Berkeley County Commissioner Robert L. Burkhart, according to unofficial but complete election results.

Pennington was the highest vote-getter of all five candidates with 2,285 votes, according to returns from all 58 precincts. He beat Patricia Washington, his Democratic challenger, who came in with 1,493 votes.

On the GOP side, Teuffel was leading James L. Edwards by a slim margin. Teuffel had 1,210 votes and Edwards 1,204. Bill Alexander came in third with 1,099 votes.

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Commissioners serve six-year terms, and as of July 1 will make a salary of $30,800. The commissioners currently make $28,000.

Pennington, 55, of P.O. Box 623, Edwin Miller Boulevard, Martinsburg, has owned Pennington's Auto Center for 33 years. He is currently a member of the Berkeley County Planning Commission and Berkeley County Community Advisory Board.

Teuffel, 42, of 802 Honeysuckle Drive, Martinsburg, is a temporary employee for the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Virginia.

County officials will canvass the votes on Friday, said Howard Strauss, president of the county commission.

Also included will be absentee votes not received yet that were postmarked up to May 14.

Strauss said a recount was also possible because of the close difference between the vote totals.

Burkhart, who suffered a stroke in April, has not been able to attend commission meetings since. He did make an appearance at the Berkeley County Courthouse Tuesday. Bobbie Miller, his daughter, said Burkhart has not missed an election in 42 years and "was not about to miss one now."

Staff writer Richard Belisle contributed to this story.

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