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Hess leading in assessor's race

May 12, 2004|by CANDICE BOSELY

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Larry Hess was leading his Democratic primary opponent Tuesday night for the Berkeley County assessor's job.In the Nov. 2 general election, the Democratic winner will face Republican Preston B. Gooden. Gooden was the only Republican seeking the seat.

With 46 of the county's 59 precincts reporting Tuesday night, Hess garnered 1,897 votes, while his opponent, Brad Unger, had 1,515 votes.

Hess, 53, is the senior appraiser in the assessor's office, where he handles all commercial appraisals.

Hess, a lifelong county resident, has said he prefers to assess properties on the lower end of the scale. He also hopes to target residents who continue to drive with out-of-state license plates.

Assessors are elected for four-year terms and make $37,400 a year, plus an extra $15,000 annually for performing special duties.

Assessor Evelyn Fink, 74, decided not to seek re-election.

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