MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — At least three Eastern Panhandle residents are testing the proverbial waters on whether to run for statewide office next year by filing precandidacy papers, according to Secretary of State Natalie Tennant’s office.
Twenty-third Judicial Circuit Judge John C. Yoder of Harpers Ferry, W.Va., who lost by fewer than 8,000 votes to Thomas E. McHugh in 2010 for a seat on the state Supreme Court of Appeals, has indicated he intends to run again next year.
Also considering a run for state office are Democrats Bob Tabb of Kearneysville, W.Va., who registered with the state as a precandidate in June 2011, and Wayne Casto of Martinsburg, W.Va., who filed in July, according to Tennant’s office.
Tabb and Casto are exploring bids to become the state’s next agriculture commissioner.
Casto was defeated in the 2008 primary election when he ran against current Agriculture Commissioner Gus R. Douglass, who announced this year he would not seek re-election.
Tabb, who is currently deputy commissioner of agriculture, previously served in the House of Delegates.
The two-week filing period for 2012 election candidates begins Jan. 9 and candidacy announcements must be postmarked before midnight Jan. 28, according to Tennant’s office. West Virginia’s 2012 primary election is set for May 9.
By filing a precandidacy form, prospective candidates may lawfully begin to accept contributions and make expenditures for the 2012 election, according to Tennant’s office.
Other prospective state office candidates who have filed 2012 precandidacy registration papers with Tennant’s office are (listed with their filing dates):
- Del. Larry D. Kump, R-Berkeley/Morgan, of Falling Waters, who filed for House of Delegates on March 23, 2011.
- Del. John Overington, R-Berkeley, of Martinsburg, for House of Delegates on Jan. 19, 2011.
- Del. Eric L. Householder, R-Berkeley, of Martinsburg, for House of Delegates on Jan. 17, 2011.
- Del. John Doyle, D-Jefferson, of Shepherdstown, W.Va., for House of Delegates on March 29, 2011.
- Wayne M. Harris Sr., Democrat, of Ranson, W.Va., who filed for House of Delegates on June 29, 2011.
- Elliot Simon, Republican, of Harpers Ferry, for House of Delegates on Aug. 17, 2011.
- Donn E. Marshall, Democrat, of Martinsburg, for House of Delegates on Oct. 7, 2011.
- Michael D. Tharp, Republican, of Kearneysville, for House of Delegates on Sept. 20, 2011
- Sen. Herb Snyder, D-Jefferson/Berkeley, of Shenandoah Junction, W.Va., for an undeclared office, on Nov. 17, 2008
- Del. Tiffany Lawrence, D-Jefferson, of Charles Town, W.Va., for an undeclared office on Jan. 14, 2011.
Prospective candidates who have filed precandidacy papers for elected county office with the Berkeley and Jefferson County clerks’ offices are:
- Betty Jo Hersh, Republican, of Falling Waters, W.Va., for Berkeley County magistrate on July 22, 2011.
- John C. Vinson, Republican, of Inwood, W.Va., for Berkeley County magistrate on June 16, 2011.
- Steven M. Grant, Republican, of Hedgesville, W.Va., for Berkeley County sheriff on July 20, 2011.
- Richard Dennis, Republican, of Martinsburg, for Berkeley County assessor on Aug. 30, 2011.
- Sheriff Robert E. “Bobby” Shirley, Democrat, of Kearneysville, for Jefferson County Sheriff on Aug. 2, 2011
- Prosecuting Attorney Ralph A. Lorenzetti Jr., Democrat, of Charles Town, for Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney on Aug. 17, 2011.
- Assessor Angela Banks, Democrat, of Shepherdstown, for Jefferson County Assessor on Aug. 2, 2011.
- County Commissioner Frances B. Morgan, Democrat, of Summit Point, W.Va., for Jefferson County Commissioner on June 24, 2011.
Editor's note: This story was edited Oct. 11, 2011, to add Wayne M. Harris Sr. to the list of prospective candidates for the House of Delegates.