Defeated commission candidate weighs options

May 19, 2006|by ROBERT SNYDER

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Even as Berkeley County commissioners on Thursday certified the results from last week's primary election, which hands the Republican nomination to candidate Bill Stubblefield, his leading rival in the race said he's not to be counted out of the race yet.

Commission hopeful Larry Faircloth, who did not request a recount of the election results by the deadline Thursday, said he is being encouraged by voters to consider other options that would continue his run for the seat being vacated by commission President Howard Strauss at the end of the year.

"A number of citizens in Berkeley County were concerned about issues in this primary election and it's a long time from now until November," said Faircloth. "To some of these people who were concerned about particular issues, that may be a remedy."

Berkeley County Republican Party Executive Committee Nancy Myers said one option available to Faircloth is to file as a write-in candidate by Oct. 17.


Faircloth lost to fellow Republican Bill Stubblefield by 357 votes, according to official results released by the county's voter registration office following Thursday's certification.

With 4,453 Republican and 357 non-partisan ballots cast for last week's primary election, Stubblefield defeated Faircloth 1,695 votes to 1,338 votes, an 8 percent difference.

Faircloth said he did not want to subject the county's elections office to a recount, given the results, which saw the second place candidate pick up just 80 additional votes to Stubblefield's 140 additional votes, following the results of an election canvass earlier this week.

"The spread was substantial enough that I and many of my supporters felt it would not be worth it and I could not make up the difference," Faircloth said.

Faircloth had earlier complained of a number of problems with the election, including trouble with voting machines and of ballots which he said had not been signed by poll clerks from both political parties.

Following the certification of the results Thursday, Stubblefield said he was humbled by voters' support for his candidacy.

"I thought the race was very spirited and energized," Stubblefield said. "All the candidates had good ideas and some of these ideas need to be remembered as we go forward."

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