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Berkely County incumbents virtually sweep election

November 04, 2004|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.VA. - Eight of the nine candidates seeking re-election in Berkeley County were successful in Tuesday's election, with the sole exception being a magistrate appointed to his position less than a year ago.

Although all votes were counted, election results will not be certified until a canvass on Monday.

Former West Virginia State Police sergeant Scott Paugh was sworn in as a magistrate in December 2003 to replace Carlton "Cootsie" DeHaven, who resigned to run an unsuccessful campaign for county sheriff.

Paugh was not re-elected. Instead, voters selected JoAnn Overington, wife of Del. John Overington.

The county's other four magistrates - Joan Bragg, Kristy Greer, Sandy Miller and Harry Snow - were re-elected by comfortable margins.

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Bragg received 15,595 votes; Greer received 18,068 votes; Miller received 15,651 votes; Overington received 15,662 votes; and Snow received 16,070 votes, according to unofficial figures.

Out of nine candidates seeking the five seats, Paugh finished in eighth place with 11,672 votes. Others who lost were Robert L. Lowe II with 13,762 votes; Tom Grove with 13,774 votes; and Ywatta "Nessy" Mitchell with 9,692 votes.

In other races, Sheriff Randy Smith, a Democrat, will serve another four years, besting his opponent, Republican DeHaven.

Smith finished with 17,425 votes to DeHaven's 14,693.

Berkeley County Prosecutor Pamela Jean Games-Neely, a Republican, will serve another four years in office. She defeated Democrat Larry Crofford, 19,194 votes to Crofford's 12,363 votes.

Republican Del. Craig Blair will serve another two years in the state Legislature, having defeated his Democratic challenger Scott Funk 5,095 votes to 3,039 votes. The numbers include results from Berkeley and Morgan counties.

Although Del. Bob Tabb received fewer votes in Berkeley County than his Republican challenger, he won by a comfortable margin in Jefferson County.

Overall Tabb, a Democrat, received 3,702 votes, while his opponent, Jim Whitacre, received 3,430 votes.

Two races involved newcomers.

In the assessor race, former Berkeley County Sheriff Preston B. Gooden, a Republican, won with 17,066 votes. His opponent, Democrat Larry Hess, received 14,351 votes.

Gooden will replace Assessor Evelyn Fink, who did not seek re-election.

For the 53rd District race, Republican Vic Roberts defeated his Democratic opponent, Jerry Burton, 3,730 votes to 3,213 votes.

Roberts will replace longtime Del. Larry Faircloth, who quit to run an unsuccessful campaign for governor.

Running unopposed were Del. Walter Duke, R-Berkeley; Del. John Overington, R-Berkeley; Circuit Clerk Virginia Sine, a Democrat; Ron Collins, a Republican, for county commissioner; County Clerk John Small, a Republican; and Lyndsey Ward Leatherman, a Republican for county surveyor.

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