2022 Primary Election brings change to various offices in county


TAYLOR COUNTY—The polls have closed, ballots have been cast and the votes have been tallied, and this year’s primary election has come to an end. For some hopefuls, last night brought celebration.

Countywide, voters turned out to cast their ballots in the Grafton City Council, County Commission, Board of Education, Taylor County Clerk, various committee positions.

Additionally, residents were tasked with carrying out their civic duty of voting in the House of Delegate and Senatorial races, as well.

Voters were asked to choose one lucky candidate from Ward II to fill a position as council member, one from Ward III and an additional person to represent Ward IV. 

In Ward II Diana M. Thompson was named to the council, bringing in 58.72 percent of the vote with 367 ballots cast for her, while her opponent Sheila Westfall received 258 votes.

City residents will now be served by Patricia Henderson in Ward III, who claimed 541 votes, running unopposed in this election.

Finally, Karen Willis will return to the Grafton City Council to represent the residents of Ward IV, having earned 528 votes in her unchallenged race.

In one of the most sought after positions on the ballot during the primary election, Jaron Freeman secured the title of Taylor County Clerk, after receiving 42.02 percent of the county's votes, with a total of 734.

During this year’s primary election, residents were tasked with filling three seats on the Taylor County Board of Education, just one from the Western district and/or the Eastern, as well as two potential seats from the Tygart District. 

When all the votes had been counted, incumbent Clark D. Sinclair, representing the Tygart District, earned the favor of 1,263 residents, earning 18.867 percent of the vote. Fellow Tygart District candidate Michelle Gallo claimed a seat on the board, earning 904 votes.

Joining Sinclair and Gallo will be incumbent Melissa Garvin, who claimed 12.11 percent of the total votes at 811.

In the County Commission race, hopefuls Tony Veltri and Matthew Speakman vied for the republican ticket title. Acting Commissioner Veltri, with 61.13 percent of the total votes, won the race, earning 1,030 votes in support, and will compete against Democrat J.M. “Mike” Withers in the November General Election. 

Withers ran unopposed in the Primary contest and earned the confidence of 679 Democratic voters.

Vonda M. Reneman will continue to act as Taylor County Circuit Clerk, as she ran uncontested in her race, and Joseph Shaffer will remain Conservation District Supervisor, as he was also the only candidate in that race.

In state races, Republican Amy Summers will rally to defend her position against Democratic hopeful Mike Manypenny in the 73rd District House of Representatives race this November.

In the West Virginia Senate District 14 race, local candidate Jay Taylor earned the confidence of 84.14 percent of Taylor County’s voter turnout on the Republican ticket. Stephen Smith earned 53 votes, Angela M. Iman claimed 30, WM J.R. Keplinger received 33 votes and James Lough netted 23 votes among Republicans. 

Amanda Jo Pitzer, who will run on the Democratic ticket for the race, received 347 Taylor County votes. 

When it comes to the Senatorial District 12 race, Ben Queen will represent Taylor County, having run unopposed in his race.

Both district totals do not reflect the votes from other counties served by those representatives.

And in the race for United States House of Representatives, in the Second District, Alexander X. Mooney earned 836 votes, totaling 46.76 percent of all votes in Taylor County, while David B. McKinley garnered 717 votes, support from 40.10 percent of the county’s voters.

Residents are reminded that these numbers are unofficial. The election results will remain unofficial until a canvasing is done to ensure all votes are accurate, according to Taylor County Clerk Georgianna Thompson.

The canvasing accounts for every absentee ballot, along with every ballot cast during early voting and on election day.

“These numbers are just very close guesses and will remain unofficial until the canvasing is complete,” Thompson shared.

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