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Incumbents fare well in Martinsburg races

June 11, 2008|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Two relatively recent appointed members of Martinsburg City Council and a three-term incumbent easily withstood challenges in the municipality's general election on Tuesday and held on to their Council-At-Large and Ward 1 seats.

With all 12 precincts reporting, Council At-Large members Rodney Woods of 906 Hillcrest Drive, and Gregg M. Wachtel of 1401 W. King St., defeated Glenville L. "Twiggy" Twigg of 110 N. Centre St., and Kevin Knowles of 125 Pennsylvania Ave., according to complete, unofficial results announced by City Recorder Sharon A. Flick.

Woods received 739 votes and Wachtel received 651.

Knowles finished third with 411 votes, followed by Twigg with 158.

In the Ward I contest, Dennis J. Etherington of 501 S. Georgia Ave., received 207 votes to defeat Jason W. Baker, who received 125.

Mayor George Karos and Ward council members Richard L. Yauger, Max G. Parkinson, Roger Lewis and Betty B. Gunnoe were not opposed in their respective races. Of the city's 11,299 registered voters, 10.05 percent or 1,135, cast ballots, according to results that will be canvassed next week.

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"I knocked on a lot of doors," Woods said with a smile before pointing to the wear on the bottom of his shoe after the results were announced inside the municipal courtroom.

Woods, 60, said he would have liked to have seen more voters take part in the election and more contested races, but he also added that the low turnout may have also reflected residents' satisfaction with city affairs.

Elected to a fourth term, Wachtel, 55, said he was committed to seeing the Raleigh Street road project, among a number of others, through to completion.

"First off, I'm extremely happy the police levy passed at the margin that it did," Wachtel said. "I look forward to working for everybody in the City of Martinsburg."

Deciding to run for a four-year term after being appointed to the council in January 2008, Etherington, 57, cited his background as an educator and involvement in youth sports and War Memorial Park prior to its transfer to the Berkeley County Parks & Recreation Board.

"I'm pleased and I'll say that I'm humbled to be honest with you," Etherington said of the outcome.

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