Martin, Tenney, Smith win seats

Hamilton wins State Senate seat; Upshur votes tabulated by 9 p.m.

BUCKHANNON — Upshur County’s newly purchased election equipment made for quick election night returns Tuesday.
Newly elected county clerk Carol Smith said she was happy with the General Election process on Election Day.

“I’m glad everything went so well,” she said. “We had a good day, all of our poll workers worked hard. Our results were in quick and good like I anticipated so I’m excited about that.”

Smith said there was an adjustment to the new machines, but it went well.

“We just had a few minor problems with processes and things like that we straightened out the best we could, we learned some things we need to put in place for the next time, overall it was excellent,” Smith said.

“Early voting had a high turnout this year, typically I think in 2014 it was around 2,198 that we had vote early and we had 3,153 so it was a good turnout,” she said. “Today, voter turnout was 56.81 percent so it was good turnout.”

Smith had been appointed county clerk after the previous county clerk Debbie Thacker Wilfong passed away.

“I was appointed when our former clerk passed away and I had worked in the office and I knew once I was appointed I would have to run so it was a decision I made in 2016 and I thought at the time our office needed someone who knew what they were doing and knew what was going on and I thought I was that person and so did the commission,” Smith said.
Smith won the election with 5,577 votes against Democratic challenger Yvette Snyder Squires with 1,863 votes.

Republican Carl “Robbie” Martin defeated Democrat Matthew Kerner in the House of Delegates 45th District race 3,979 to 1,893. Martin said he felt good about the election.

“It’s a great feeling to win an election and the biggest thing was when I was on the Board of Education I felt bogged down by all the laws we had in the education system and I didn’t feel like I could do what I was set out to do as a board member,” Martin said. “When Delegate Hamilton decided to run for Senate, I decided it was an opportunity to run and hopefully help out the education system.”

After the results were in, Kerner said he was glad the election was over and he was ready for a break.

“I’m glad it’s over with,” he said. “I will be putting my boat in the water tomorrow.”
“The primary reason I wanted to run was I see a lot of corruption and a lot of mismanagement in several areas, primarily in the addiction field. I see how we can get better results without spending more money, but for some reason we don’t do that.”
Kerner said he hopes he got his message across but wasn’t sure it was heard.

“I think I did but I don’t think anyone cared,” he said.

Kerner said he would not rule out running for office in the future. “I’ve already got the signs, I’ve got some T-shirts left, so we might as well do this again in 2020. Why not?” Kerner said.

With all seven counties reporting in State Senate District 11, Republican Bill Hamilton defeated Democrat Laura Finch  70.45 percent to 29.55 percent in the race. Hamilton carried Upshur County with 6,177 votes to Finch’s 1,270 votes. Hamilton said he had a very good opponent.

“I feel gratified, it was a good win,” Hamilton said.  “I had a very good opponent, she didn’t get nasty and neither did I. We just spoke what our campaigns were about and what we wanted to do and left it up to the voters.” Hamilton had been in the House of Delegates for 16 years, but he said he wanted a change.

“I was in the House for 16 years and I thought it was time for a change and of course I had to run against an incumbent senator, senator Karnes in the spring and that was a whole different race,” Hamilton said. “I kept my message positive and came through. I didn’t feel like he was representing his district the way I would have and it’s a big district.”

Hamilton said he is willing to work with everyone for West Virginia.

“I don’t worry about Republican or Democrat, we’re West Virginians and I’m willing to work in a bipartisan fashion with the other side to develop legislation that improves live for West Virginians,” Hamilton said.

Republican Kristie Tenney defeated Independent Kevin Campbell in the county commission election 6,065 to 1,178. Tenney said she wants to continue to improve her hometown.

“I’m feeling very thankful and blessed,” Tenney said. “I just want to be a good servant and give back to the community I love so much and where I was born and raised. I just want to thank all the voters so very much and all the support I was given throughout the campaign. I want to continue all the great work that’s happening here and let’s work together and see how much better we can make Upshur county for everybody.”

Campbell said he ran to raise awareness about safety in the community. “I ran because I am concerned about the safety of this community and our preparedness for natural and manned disasters,” Campbell said. “Most importantly, I am concerned about our water and how fragile that system is and how much trouble we are in if it gets fouled.” Amendment one in Upshur County voted 4,193 for the amendment and 3,238 against and Amendment 2 in Upshur county voted 5,234 for the amendment and 1,742 against.

Smith said the Upshur County Canvass would be Nov. 13.


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