Tucker levy falls short by three votes

PARSONS – The Tucker County school levy proposal was defeated by just three votes in Tuesday’s primary election.

A total of 682 people voted in favor of the levy, while 685 voted against the proposal.

“Obviously we are disappointed,” Superintendent Dr. Eddie Campbell said after the votes were tallied Tuesday. “The only group that suffers is the kids. That was the message we tried to get out to folks – this was for the benefit of the kids. It was close, but like I said, the only ones that suffer are our kids. We will regroup and come at it again the next chance we get.”

The levy would have provided $240,000 each year for five years for school construction, repair and maintenance, technology expenses, textbooks and extracurricular activities.

Board member Marvin Parsons said he was disappointed by the vote.

“Hopefully when they do the canvass, we will be ahead and the levy will pass,” Parsons said. “It’s a shame. I don’t think some people understood the purpose of the levy. It was for the kids. We may have to run it again in the November election – we certainly need it.”

During Tuesday’s primary election, one incumbent and two new members were elected to the Tucker County Board of Education. Incumbent Janet Preston, of Davis, was re-elected to her seat. Kevin White of Hambleton and Judy Fairbanks of Parsons also won seats, replacing President Jared Parsons and Jerry DiBacco, who both announced their plans to retire from the board.

A total of five candidates vied for three slots on the Board of Education. White received 978 votes, Preston earned 709 votes, Fairbanks garnered 622 votes, Kim Flanagan of Davis totaled 597 votes and Andrew Meador of Parsons amassed 243 votes.

Preston said she was happy to keep her seat on the board.

“I am glad the residents of Tucker County re-elected me to the Board of Education,” Preston said. “I am disappointed that the levy appears to have failed. I am keeping my fingers crossed that might change following the canvass.”

White said he was excited to be selected to serve on the BOE.

“I have been involved with youth in Tucker County since 1985, coaching various sports,” White said. “Kids are important to me. We are a strong community and we need to take care of our kids.”

White said being on the Board of Education was just a natural step for him to take.

“I am heartbroken over the failure of the levy,” White said. “I was a big supporter for the levy, win or lose. I know how important that money could have been, helping with textbooks and as leverage for School Building Authority grants for building improvements. The levy would have been a win-win for students and everyone in the county.”

Fairbanks said the election was fun.

“I have never done anything like this before,” Fairbanks said. “I always attend the board meetings. My family and children are teachers. I look forward to serving on the board.”

In the race for one Tucker County Commission seat, incumbent Mike Rosenau won the Democratic nomination, gathering 606 votes.

“I am excited to serve Tucker County,” Rosenau said. “I have been serving the last five years and I look forward to serving them in the future. I want to keep Tucker County moving ahead.”

Patrick Darlington won the Republican nomination, gathering 488 votes in the race for Tucker County Commission.

“I think tonight’s election went great,” Darlington said. “I am excited about the turnout that we had and the number of votes I received. Now the work begins and we gear up and get ready for November. I think it will be a good race.”

In the race for United States Senator in Tucker County, Natalie Tennant, a Democrat, received 557 votes, while Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican, earned 529 votes. Dennis Melton, a Democrat, gathered 166 votes; David Wamsley, a Democrat, totaled 93 votes; Matthew Dodrill, a Republican, accumulated 42 votes and Larry Butcher, a Republican, amassed 21 votes.

In the U.S. House of Representatives 1st Congressional District race, Glen Gainer III, a Democrat from Parkersburg, received 646 votes, while David McKinley, a Republican from Wheeling, received 498 votes.

Scott Dewitt of Kingwood and Max Grove of Belington ran for the State Republican Executive Committee in the 14th Senatorial District. Dewitt received 325 votes, while Grove received 250 votes.

Fran Shupp, of Thomas, received 111 votes in her quest for Republican County Executive Committee, female, from the Blackwater District, while Bruce Kolsun, of Parsons, received 127 votes for Republican County Executive Committee, male, from the Shavers Fork District.

For the Democratic Executive Committee, female, in the 14th Senatorial District, Rita McCrobie of Bretz received 477 votes, Carye Blaney of Morgantown received 213 votes and Cynthia Walters of Wardensville received 153 votes. Jeremy Cooper, of Albright, received 508 votes for the Democratic Executive Committee in the 14th Senatorial District, male, while J.M. Withers, of Grafton, received 332 votes.

David Bonner, of Hendricks, edged out Debbie Stevens by a vote of 736 to 620 in the race for Conservation District Supervisor.

On Tuesday, 1,618 of the 5,406 registered voters in Tucker County made their way to the polls, a 29.93 percent turnout.

All election results are unofficial until a canvass is completed.