Newcomer's lead holds up in city election

June 15, 2004|By DAVE McMILLION

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Frank "Tex" Idoni remained the victor over Martinsburg City Council member Glenville Twigg after a canvass Monday of last Tuesday's city election results.

There were 15 challenged ballots in the election, some because people voted in a different precinct, said City Recorder Sharon Flick.

On Monday afternoon, Martinsburg City Council members accepted 10 of the 15 challenged ballots.

The extra ballots did not affect the outcome of the close race between Idoni and Twigg for the Ward 5 council seat.

Idoni defeated Twigg by picking up 49 votes compared to Twigg's 45.

Of the 10 challenged ballots accepted Monday, one was in the Ward 5 race, Flick said.

The person who cast the ballot apparently did not vote for either Ward 5 candidate because it did not affect the vote outcome, Flick said.


Idoni was present for the canvass in Martinsburg City Council chambers, but Twigg did not attend.

Twigg, who has served on the council for 14 years, last week attributed the Ward 5 results to low voter turnout and his recent preoccupation with Twiggy's, a restaurant/convenience store he opened in December.

Working with his wife at Twiggy's prevented Twigg from going door-to-door and also meant some phone calls from residents went unanswered, he said.

He said he plans to concentrate on his business and may consider running one day for a city or county seat.

"I've got politics in my blood and I'm really going to miss it," Twigg said last Tuesday. "I certainly wish the new council and this community all the best."

The 10 added ballots increased some vote totals but did not affect race outcomes.

The final vote results are as follows:

For two at-large council seats, council member Donald Anderson received 514 votes and council member Gregg Wachtel received 504 votes. Larue Frye, who was defeated in the three-way race, received 394 votes.

The mayor and three council members ran unopposed.

Mayor George Karos received 760 votes, council member Richard Yauger received 82 votes, council member Max Parkinson received 295 votes and council member Roger Lewis received 91 votes.

Council member Chris Baker did not seek re-election. The only person running for his seat, Shari Knadler Persad, received 138 votes.

At the end of the canvass Monday, Karos expressed concern about the low number of registered voters in the city and said he plans to form a committee to explore ways of increasing registered voters in Martinsburg.

Karos said he would like to see voter registration drives that would target specific segments of the city population, such as high school students.

The city's population is about 18,000 and there are 9,712 registered voters in town.

In last Tuesday's election, 907 votes were cast for a turnout of 9.3 percent of the city's registered voters.

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