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Martinsburg mayor re-elected, one incumbent council member ousted

June 12, 2012
  • Michael Bochinski, left, is vying for Martinsburg mayor against incumbent George Karos.
Michael Bochinski, left, is vying for Martinsburg mayor against incumbent George Karos.

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Martinsburg Mayor George Karos won a fourth four-year term in Tuesday’s municipal election, but there will be three new Martinsburg City Council members, according to complete, unofficial results.

With all 12 precincts reporting, Karos, the 80-year-old pharmacist, a Democrat, received 935 votes to defeat Republican challenger Michael Bochinski, 51, who received 328 votes in the mayoral race.

In Ward 2, newcomer Kevin Knowles, 53, received 139 votes to defeat incumbent Richard L. Yauger, 79, who received 58 votes.

And in the races for two open seats, Jason Baker, 29, of 809 N. High St., won a four-way contest for the Ward 5 seat and former Councilman Donald Anderson, 85, won the At Large seat held by Councilman Rodney Woods, who opted not to run for election.

Incumbent At Large Councilman Gregg Wachtel, 59, finished ahead of At Large candidates C. William Hayes, 74, and Kevin Santana, 35, in the citywide vote to retain his seat. Wachtel received 794 votes, finishing ahead of Anderson (646), Hayes (425) and Santana (248).

Ward 5 Councilwoman Betty Gunnoe opted not to run for re-election.

Ward 4 Councilman Roger Lewis, 75, fended off challengers from Stephen Snowden, 57, and Nick Nelson to win another term, receiving 129 votes from the ward, compared to 48 cast for Snowden and 19 votes for Nelson.

In Ward 1, incumbent Dennis Etherington, 61, defeated Travis Bishop, 42, to win a second term. Etherington received 160 votes while Bishop received 69.

Longtime Ward 3 Councilman Max Parkinson, 77, who easily defeated Larry Rogers, 49, for another term, received 254 votes while Rogers received 85.

Like the mayor, council members are elected to four-year terms and are entitled to insurance benefits. The mayor is paid $6,000 annually and council members are paid $2,400 annually.

The winners in the municipal election are scheduled to take the oath of office June 28 for terms that begin July 1.

There were 10,550 registered voters for the city election and 412 cast ballots in early voting, which ended Saturday, according to City Recorder Gena Long, the city’s chief election officer.

Officials said 2,995 voters cast ballots Tuesday night.

— Reporting by Richard F. Belisle and Matthew Umstead

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Editor's note: This story was edited June 13, 2012, to correct the number of new council members.

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