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More history - Democrats, women control Morgan commission

November 08, 2008|By TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - Two political milestones were reached Tuesday - women and Democrats now rule the Morgan County Commission.

With newcomer Stacy Dugan winning the commission race and knocking out Glen Stotler - the Republican incumbent of 24 years - the Democratic Party has the majority for the first time in Morgan County history.

It's also the first time two women Democrats will serve Morgan County at the same time.

In January, Commissioner Brenda J. Hutchinson will become the first female Commission president.

Dugan said one of the first things she wants to do is to keep people better informed.

"I am so excited. I can't wait to get started," Dugan said.

Hutchinson and Dugan are not the first women who have served as Morgan County commissioners.

The first elected commissioner was Margie Ours, a Republican who served from 1980 to 1986, she said.

Ours said she first was appointed to serve a one-year unexpired term for William J. Clark, who resigned. Then she ran and was elected commissioner, she said.

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Ours, 86, served with Republican Nelson Kesecker and Democrat Brown Norton.

Norton became her mentor. He told her what to expect at conferences, she said.

"He taught me everything my first year," she said. "He was very good. He informed me."

She said she liked that about Norton and felt there should be more of that in politics.

"I vote for the person, not for the party," Ours said.

The first woman to serve on the Morgan County Commission was Republican Carrie E. Mechem, according to county records.

She was appointed in 1973 and served as commissioner until January 1974 to finish out the term of her late husband, Gladstone Mechem.

Hutchinson said last week she knew two women who serve together as commissioners in Mineral County, W.Va.

"One is a Republican and one is a Democrat, and they're best friends," Hutchinson said.

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