Many contested races to be decided on in Berkeley and Jefferson counties

November 04, 2012|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD |

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

In addition to voting in presidential, U.S. House and U.S. Senate races, there also are contests for governor, auditor, attorney general, secretary of state, agriculture commissioner, state treasurer and Supreme Court. Voters also will decide whether the state constitution should be amended to remove term limits for county sheriffs.

More than 15,000 people in Berkeley (8,959) and Jefferson (6,434) counties already have voted during the 10-day early voting period that ended at 5 p.m. Saturday, election officials said.

Tuesday, polls open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m.

In the Eastern Panhandle, there are five contested races for seats in the state House of Delegates, two in Berkeley County and three in Jefferson County, and there also are races in the state Senate.

• State Sen. Herb Snyder, D-Jefferson/Berkeley, of Shenandoah Junction, W.Va., is opposed in his bid for re-election in the 16th District by former Jefferson County Commissioner Jim Ruland of Harpers Ferry, W.Va.

• Former Del. Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, of Martinsburg, is opposed by Constitution Party candidate Daniel Litten of Keyser, W.Va., in the newly redrawn 15th Senatorial District, which is comprised of parts of Berkeley and Mineral counties and all of Hampshire and Morgan counties.

• Del. Walter Duke, R-Berkeley, of Martinsburg, is opposed in the 61st District by Democrat Jason Barrett of Martinsburg.

• Republican Michael Folk of Martinsburg faces Democrat Donn Marshall of Martinsburg in the newly created 63rd House District in Berkeley County.

• Del. Tiffany Lawrence, D-Jefferson, of Charles Town, W.Va., is opposed by Republican Jill Upson, also of Charles Town, in the 65th District in Jefferson County. 

• Republican Paul Espinosa of Charles Town and Democrat John Reese Maxey of Harpers Ferry are vying for the 66th District seat.

• Republican Elliot Simon of Harpers Ferry is running against Democrat Stephen Skinner of Shenandoah Junction, W.Va., in the 67th District.

Among county races, incumbent sheriffs Kenneth “Kenny” Lemaster (Berkeley County), Robert E. “Bobby” Shirley (Jefferson County) and Vince Shambaugh (Morgan County), all face opposition.

Lemaster, of Martinsburg, is opposed by Republican James W. Barbour III of Martinsburg, independent third- party candidate Carlton “Cootsie” DeHaven and official write-in candidate John Orem of Inwood, W.Va. Shirley, of Kearneysville, W.Va., is opposed by Republican Earl Ballenger of Millville, W.Va. Shambaugh, of Great Cacapon, W.Va., is opposed by Democrat Larry Bradley of Berkeley Springs, W.Va.

Help online

Berkeley County voters can obtain directions to their assigned voting location, as well as sample ballots for their specific voting precinct on the Web at and Jefferson County voters can obtain similar information online at Voter-registration information may be obtained on the Secretary of State’s website at

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