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John Unger secures Democratic nomination for W.Va. state Senate

  • Sen. John Unger, D-Berkeley/Jefferson
File photo,

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- John Unger scored a convincing victory Tuesday night against challenger Pat Murphy to secure the Democratic Party's nomination for a fourth term in the state Senate, according to unofficial results.

With all 91 precincts in the 16th district reporting, Unger received about 69 percent of the vote and Murphy, 62, received 31 percent, according to tallies compiled from the county clerks in Berkeley and Jefferson counties.

The senatorial district includes 59 of 66 precincts in Berkeley County and all 32 precincts in neighboring Jefferson County.

In Berkeley County, Unger received 2,309 votes or 64 percent and Murphy received 1,276 votes or 35 percent. In Jefferson County, Unger received 2,173 votes or 75 percent and Murphy received 728 votes or 25 percent.

With the apparent victory in hand, Unger will face Republican Del. Craig Blair in the Nov. 2 general election. State Senators are paid $20,000 per year.


Unger, 41, said Tuesday night that he was "honored" to have the voters' trust.

"I'm going to continue to listen, I'm going to continue to understand and I'm going to continue to get things done for the community," Unger said. "I look to getting back to work and working hard for the community."

A retired teacher, Murphy, of 1044 Trent Arden Court, Martinsburg, had vowed to limit campaign contributions to no more than $10 per donor, but later acknowledged that some contributors exceeded his self-imposed cap.

A vicar/pastor at St. John Lutheran Church in Harpers Ferry, Unger has said his motivation for running for a fourth, four-year term stems from his faith and abiding by Jesus' commandments.

On the campaign trail, Unger of 1022 Williamsport Pike, has touted his efforts to get the Raleigh Street Extension project started in Martinsburg, W.Va. 9 widened, a new Division of Motor Vehicles office for Jefferson County and legislation to alert residents about power line projects such as the Potomac Appalachian Transmission Highline (PATH).

W.Va. State Senate

16th District 16


Patrick Murphy 2,004

x John R. Unger II (i) 4,482


Craig Blair 4,052

With 91 of 91 precincts reporting

x - Advance to general election

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