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Incumbents triumph in races

November 7, 2012
By Katie Kuba Senior Staff Writer , The Inter-Mountain

Incumbents triumphed Tuesday in the race for three Randolph County Magistrate seats.

Randolph County Magistrates Benjamin E. Shepler, Robert R. "Rob" Elbon Jr. and George Michael Riggleman retained their seats, emerging as the top three vote-getters in Tuesday's race for magistrate.

According to unofficial results, Riggleman, a Democrat from Beverly, was the top vote-getter with 6,137 votes, or 29.19 percent, followed by Shepler, a Republican from Elkins, who garnered 6,021 votes, or 28.47 percent, and Elbon, a Democrat from Elkins, who amassed 5,381 votes, or 25.44 percent. Four candidates had been vying for three positions - Democratic candidate Chris Heflin, of Beverly, came in fourth, with a total of 3,572 votes (16.89 percent).

Riggleman won his fourth term as magistrate Tuesday, having first been elected to the position in 2000. Despite his success in the past, Riggleman said he'd approached the general election with an attitude of cautious optimism.

"You never know for sure," Riggleman said. "I'd always done well in the past and hoped I would do well this time. This job is important to me because we need people in office who care about the community and the people in it, and I feel that if you're going to be in politics, you have to take your job seriously.

"You do it because you want to make it better for everyone in the county," he added, "and I want to say thanks to the people of Randolph County."

Shepler and Elbon each earned a second term as magistrate.

"You never know how an election is going to go until all the ballots are cast," Shepler said. "I'm very happy to have served the citizens of Randolph County and very excited to continue to earn their trust."

Elbon said he viewed Tuesday's election as a referendum on the magistrates' job performance.

"I see (the election) as a rating of our job performance, and it looks like people agree with what we're doing and trust us," he commented.

In other races:

Randolph County Prosecuting Attorney, incumbent Michael W. Parker, a Democrat from Elkins, earned 7,769 votes, or 99.77 percent. Parker was unopposed in this year's general election and will serve a four-year term beginning Jan. 1, 2013. He was appointed to the position in December 2011 and won the Democratic primary bid in May 2012.

Phyllis K. Yokum, a Democrat from Bowden, retained her current position, winning a four-year term as Randolph County's assessor. Yokum ran unopposed, collecting 8,251 votes, or 99.87 percent.

Incumbent Randolph County Surveyor Leon G. Mallow - a Republican from Montrose - ran unopposed and received 7,589 votes, or 99.79 percent.

Voter turnout in the county registered at 53.73 percent, with 9,939 out of 18,497 registered voters casting ballots in the general election.

Randolph County Clerk Brenda Wiseman said she was happy that last week's storm didn't put too much of a damper on voter turnout.

"The weather perked up and people really came out and voted, and I'm really pleased with the turnout," Wiseman said.

Only one snag slowed the count of county ballots Tuesday night - a voting machine at the Beverly Fire Hall, Precinct 200, had to be taken out of commission after a poll worker discovered a problem with the board inside the computer terminal.

"That backed them up," Wiseman said. "When it was time to close the polls at 7:30, there were still people standing in line. As long as they're in line by that time, you can't turn them away."

All results will remain unofficial until a canvass takes place at 9 a.m. Nov. 13 in the County Commission Meeting Room of the James Cain Courthouse Annex.

Contact Katie Kuba by email at



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