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Primary races aplenty in Eastern Panhandle

January 31, 2012|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Contested races abound for the May 8 primary election in Berkeley and Jefferson counties, but few of the political battles will be for seats in the state Legislature. And only one incumbent, Del. Tiffany Lawrence, D-Jefferson, faces a challenge from within her own party.

One person standing in Lawrence’s path to winning a third, two-year term in the state House and representing the 65th district next year is Democrat Richard “Rick” Shuman II of Charles Town, W.Va.

Shuman and Lawrence, along with Republican challenger Jill Upson, all list mailing addresses in the Charles Town community of Locust Hill, according to the Jefferson County Clerk and Secretary of State’s offices.

In the 60th district in southern Berkeley County, Republicans Gary W. Kelley of Martinsburg and Larry W. Faircloth of Inwood, W.Va., are vying to be the Republican nominee to replace Del. Jonathan Miller, who opted to run for Congress.

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In the 63rd district, Republicans Pam Brush and Michael Folk, both of Martinsburg, are running for a newly created seat to represent northeastern Berkeley County. 

While a Democratic candidate has not filed for the 60th district and three other House districts in Berkeley County, the winner in the 63rd is expected to face Democrat Donn Marshall this fall in the general election.

In Jefferson County, Republicans Elliot Simon and W. Matthew Harris are running for the GOP nod in the 67th district, where the winner is expected to face Democrat Stephen Skinner.

Among other elected offices on the primary ballot, two Jefferson County school board seats appear to be the most contested with seven candidates vying for them.

Joining incumbent Gary M. Kable of Charles Town in the board race is Jennifer Leeb, Jim Jenkins and Laurie Ogden of Harpers Ferry, Lori R. Stilley of Charles Town, Tom Delauney of Shenandoah Junction, W.Va., and Mark Osbourn of Shepherdstown. In Berkeley County, school board incumbents Ron Gray and Bill Queen face opposition from David L. Woods of Hedgesville.

In county office races, six Republicans have filed for two seats on Berkeley County Council, including the one held by incumbent Elaine Mauck of Martinsburg. Mauck is being challenged in the primary by former County Commissioner Steven C. Teufel in the Adam Stephen magisterial district. James R. Barnhart, Travis W. Mong and Melvin D. “Sonny” Spurgeon, all of Martinsburg, are running against each other to be the GOP nominee from the Tuscarora District.

While Republican Edward Wilson of Falling Waters is unopposed in the Potomac District, Democrats Larry Lam of Martinsburg and Mark T. Barney of Hedgesville are vying for their party’s nomination there.

In Jefferson County, incumbent County Commissioner Frances B. Morgan will face the winner of the Republican primary contest between Jane Tabb and Reese Clabaugh in the Middleway District.

Unlike Morgan, fellow Democratic incumbents Berkeley County Sheriff Kenny Lemaster, Jefferson County Sheriff Bobby Shirley and Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Ralph A. Lorenzetti Jr. each have opposition for the primary.

Lemaster is opposed by Charles “Chip” O’Roke of Martinsburg and Michael W. Cox II of Bunker Hill. Shirley faces a primary challenge from former Sheriff Everett “Ed” Boober, and Lorenzetti’s opponent is Ruth McQuade of Shepherdstown, who previously ran for the office.

The winner in the Democratic primary for sheriff in Berkeley County is expected to face the winner of the Republican primary contest between John Orem of Inwood, W.Va., and James W. Barbour III of Martinsburg.

Among other offices, Richard Dennis and Larry Hess, both of Martinsburg, are vying for the Republican Party’s nomination to be Berkeley County’s next assessor. The winner will face Democrat Shawn M. Conaughty of Martinsburg in the fall election.

In two magistrate court primary election races, 10 Republicans are vying for five magistrate court seats in Berkeley County and four Democrats are running for three seats on the bench in Jefferson.

The winners in each respective contest face a full slate of Democrat and Republican candidates in the general election.

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