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Plenty of contested races await W.Va. voters

polls open until 7:30 p.m.

May 08, 2012|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD |

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Voters in Berkeley and Jefferson counties have no shortage of contested races to decide in Tuesday’s primary election.

In addition to voting in presidential, U.S. House and U.S. Senate races, there also are primary contests for governor, secretary of agriculture, state treasurer and Supreme Court.
There are four contested races for seats in the state House of Delegates, two each in Berkeley County and one in Jefferson County.

  • Del. Tiffany Lawrence, D-Jefferson, of Charles Town, W.Va., is opposed by Richard “Rick” Shuman II, also of Charles Town, in her bid for a third, two-year term. The winner in the 65th district race will face Republican Jill Upson, who is running unopposed. 
  • Republicans Elliot Simon and W. Matthew Harris of Harpers Ferry, W.Va., are vying for their party’s nomination in the 67th district. The winner will face Democrat Stephen Skinner of Shenandoah Junction, W.Va., in the November general election. Skinner is unopposed in his bid to replace longtime Democratic Del. John Doyle, who decided not to seek re-election.
  • Republicans Larry W. Faircloth of Inwood, W.Va., and Gary W. Kelley of Martinsburg are vying to replace Del. Jonathan Miller in Berkeley County’s 60th district. Miller is running against Rep. Shelley Moore Capito in the 2nd Congressional District. No Democratic candidate has filed to run in the heavily Republican state House district.

  • Republicans Pam Brush and Michael Folk, both of Martinsburg, are vying for their party’s nomination in the 63rd House district. The winner will face Democrat Donn Marshall, who is not opposed in the Democratic Party’s primary for the newly created district.

Among county races, incumbent sheriffs Kenneth Lemaster (Berkeley County) and Robert E. “Bobby” Shirley (Jefferson County) both face opposition. Lemaster, of Martinsburg, is opposed by Michael W. Cox II of Bunker Hill, W.Va., and Charles “Chip” O’Roke of Martinsburg. Republicans James W. Barbour III of Martinsburg and John Orem of Inwood, W.Va., are vying to be the Republican nominee for sheriff.

Shirley, of Kearneysville, W.Va., is opposed by former Sheriff Everett “Ed” Boober of Charles Town for the Democratic Party’s nomination. The winner will be opposed in November by Republican Earl Ballenger of Millville, W.Va., who is running unopposed.

Morgan County Sheriff Vincent Shambaugh, of Great Cacapon, W.Va., is opposed in the Republican Party’s primary by Tim Johnson of Berkeley Springs, W.Va. The winner in Morgan County’s only contested race in the primary will face Democrat Larry Bradley of Berkeley Springs in the general election. Bradley is running unopposed.

Other current elected officeholders who have primary election opponents are:

  • Republican Berkeley County Council incumbent Elaine Mauck of Martinsburg, who is opposed by former County Commissioner Steven C. Teufel. 
  • Berkeley County voters also will decide two other contested races for County Council between Democrats Mark T. Barney of Hedgesville, W.Va., and Larry Lam of Martinsburg and Republican Ed Wilson in the Potomac District, and Republicans James R. Barnhart and Travis W. Mong, both of Martinsburg, in the Tuscarora District.
  • In the Jefferson County Commission race, the winner between Republicans Reese Clabaugh of Kearneysville and former County Commissioner Jane Tabb of Kearneysville is expected to face Democratic incumbent Frances B. Morgan of Summit Point, W.Va., in the general election. Morgan is running unopposed in the Middleway District race.
  • Republicans Richard Dennis and Larry Hess, both of Martinsburg, are vying to be their party’s nominee to be Berkeley County’s next assessor. The primary winner is expected to face Democrat Shawn M. Conaughty of Martinsburg, who is running unopposed.
  • Democratic Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Ralph A. Lorenzetti Jr. of Harpers Ferry is opposed by former Assistant U.S. Prosecutor Ruth McQuade of Shepherdstown, W.Va.
  • Berkeley County Board of Education incumbents William “Bill” Queen of Martinsburg and James “Ron” Gray of Falling Waters are opposed by David L. Woods of Hedgesville in the nonpartisan race for two seats.
  • Jefferson County school board member Gary Kable of Charles Town is opposed by Jim Jenkins of Harpers Ferry, Laurie Ogden of Harpers Ferry, Lori R. Stilley of Charles Town, Tom Delauney of Shenandoah Junction, W.Va., and Mark Osbourn of Shepherdstown in a race for two seats.
  • Berkeley County magistrates Harry L. Snow and JoAnn Overington are among 10 Republican candidates vying for five seats on the lower state court bench. Also running are William “Kirby” Lewis of Inwood, Charles “Charlie” Cole of Hedgesville, Lynn Ann Haines of Falling Waters, Betty Jo Hersh (Carpenter) of Falling Waters, Victoria “Vickie” Knight of Hedgesville, Robert L. “Rob” Lowe II of Martinsburg, John C. Vinson of Inwood and Thomas W. Weatherholtz Jr. of Bunker Hill.
  • Only five Democratic candidates filed for magistrate and will advance to the general election. They are incumbent Jim Humphrey of Martinsburg, Tina Marie Jones (Myers) of Martinsburg, Kenneth R. “Ken” Mattson of Inwood, John Sherman of Martinsburg and Joy Walls of Gerrardstown, W.Va., will advance to the general election.
  • In Jefferson County, magistrates Gail C. Boober of Charles Town, Mary Paul Rissler of Charles Town and William E. “Bill” Senseney of Harpers Ferry are opposed in the Democratic primary by newcomer Wendy Torelli of Charles Town. The nominees are expected to face three Republicans: William “Bill” Arnicar of Ranson, W.Va., Peter Onoszko of Charles Town and Ronald “Ronnie” Bell of Charles Town in the general election.

Primary Tuesday

Polls open Tuesday at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m. Berkeley County voters can obtain directions to their assigned voting location on the Internet at Voter-registration information may be obtained on the Secretary of State’s website at

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