Election Season Nearing In W.Va.
WHEELING — Let the fun begin — West Virginia’s 2018 election season officially begins in eight days.
The upcoming election year is expected to be a competitive one in West Virginia, with political races officially starting in less than two weeks. Those wishing to run for office in the Mountain State in 2018 must file their certificate of announcement and pertinent fees between Jan. 8, and Jan. 27.
Topping this year’s ballot will be races for U.S. Senate and House, as well as contests for the state legislature, county school boards and county commissions.
Information pertaining to terms, requirements and salary follow:
The U.S. Senate seat on this year’s ballot is for the seat currently occupied by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va,
The term is for six years, and the annual pay is $174,000. The filing fee for the race is $1,740, or 1 percent of the yearly pay.
Candidates must be at least age 30, and a U.S. citizen for at least nine years. To represent West Virginia in the U.S. Senate or House, they also must be a resident of the state on the day of the general election, Nov. 6.
Residents in the Northern Panhandle live within West Virginia’s 1st Congressional District, and Rep. David B. McKinley, R-W.Va. is the incumbent.
The yearly pay and filing fee to run for a U.S. House seat is the same as for a U.S. Senate seat, though the job has a shorter term of just two years. House candidates must be at least 25 years old, and a U.S. citizen for at least seven years.
Potential candidates for the U.S. Senate and House not only must file with the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office, but also must follow the filing and financial reporting rules of the Federal Election Commission.
West Virginia Senate
The seat of West Virginia Senate Majority Leader Ryan Ferns, R-Ohio, is on the ballot in 2018. Ferns represents the 1st Senate District, which encompasses Brooke, Hancock and Ohio counties, and parts of Marshall County.
Also up for election this year is the 2nd District seat of Sen. Charles Clements, R-Wetzel. The 2nd District locally includes all of Wetzel and Tyler counties, as well as most of Marshall County. Other counties in the district include Calhoun, Doddridge, and Ritchie counties, as well as parts of Gilmer, Marion and Monongalia counties.
Each Senate district is represented by two senators, with only one up for election in each district in 2018. State law prohibits two residents of the same county from serving simultaneously in the Senate.
This means no candidate may file this year to run for the Senate who lives in Brooke County, home of Sen. Ryan Weld; or from Marshall County, home of Sen. Mike Maroney. Both Weld and Maroney are Republicans.
The term for a West Virginia senator is four years, and the yearly pay is $20,000. The filing fee for the race is $200.
Candidates must be at least 25 years old, and have been a West Virginia resident for five years prior to election to the Senate. The candidate must also have lived within the same county for one year before the general election.
West Virginia House of Delegates
All 100 seats in the West Virginia House of Delegates are up for election next year.
The term is for two years, and the filing fee is also lower than that for the Senate. at $100. The pay also is $20,000 annually.
Candidates must be at least 18 years old, and a resident of their House district for at least one year prior to the general election.
Candidates for state Senate and the House of Delegates file with the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office.
In West Virginia, county commissioners serve six-year terms, and the filing fee is 1 percent of the annual salary a commissioner receives — which varies from county to county.
Prospective candidates in most local counties should contact their county clerk’s office to learn the yearly salary figure, and the amount of filing fee.
Commission candidates must be at least 18 years old, and live within the specific magisterial district represented by the commission seat up for election.
Boards of Education
Candidates for boards of education in West Virginia — which are nonpartisan races — will be elected during the May 8 primary election, and take office on July 1. The term is for four years, and pay also varies from county to county. The filing fee is fixed at $25.
Board of education members are elected by magisterial district, and no more than two members elected can represent the same magisterial district.
Candidates must be age 18, and have a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Winning candidates must complete required training prior to taking office.
Candidates for county offices file with their respective county clerk’s office.