Jefferson County BOE candidate withdraws from race

May 10, 2010|By RICHARD F. BELISLE

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- One of two challengers in the Jefferson County Board of Education race in Tuesday's primary withdrew from the race at the last minute Monday.

Karan Townsend is out of the race, but her name will still appear on the ballot. She did not give a reason for bowing out.

The primary serves as the board of education's election. Three board seats are up for grabs.

The three incumbents are Board President Peter Dougherty, and members Scott Sudduth and Mariland Dunn Lee. Laurie Ogden is the other candidate.

Dougherty represents the Kabletown Magisterial District, and Sudduth and Lee represent the Middleway District. Ogden is from the Harpers Ferry District.


Townsend, 60, of Harpers Ferry, said Monday she is asking her supporters to vote for Ogden. She said in a widely distributed e-mail Monday: "I sent to my Harpers Ferry neighbors who know my name and might consider voting for me (that) I have unofficially withdrawn from the Board of Education election in order to support Laurie Ogden."

Board members are not paid and serve four-year terms.

Townsend is a member of the Harpers Ferry Planning Commission and Harpers Ferry Historic Town Foundation. She resigned from the Jefferson County Convention and Visitors Bureau because the organization supported the vote for table games at Charles Town Races & Slots in a countywide referendum in December.

Katrina Bloomer, deputy clerk in the Jefferson County clerk's office, said Monday that 1,028 residents cast ballots during the primary's early-voting period.

The total included 748 Democrats, 277 Republicans and three Independents.

Statewide, nearly 40,500 voters cast ballots during the early-voting period, a marked increase over the 2006 off-year midterm election when fewer than 26,000 voted early, according to figures from all 55 counties released Monday by Secretary of State Natalie Tennant's office.

In Berkeley County, 1,486 ballots were cast in the 15-day early-voting period, which ended Saturday, according to unofficial tallies compiled by the county's voters registration office. In addition to the early votes cast, the voters registration office also has received 31 absentee ballots, Deputy County Clerk Bonnie Woodfall said.

By the end of early voting Saturday, 766 ballots were cast in the Republican Party's primary and 722 were cast in the Democratic Party's primary, according to unofficial tallies. Four nonpartisan ballots were cast. The nonpartisan ballot includes the board of education and conservation district supervisor races.

Registered voters with no party affiliation may choose to vote in either the Democratic or Republican Party's primary or may elect to only cast a nonpartisan ballot, but they must advise poll workers of their choice when they arrive at precincts to vote.

Polls open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Sample ballots are on the Berkeley County Commission's website at and on the Jefferson County Clerk's website at

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