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Countdown To Election Day: Municipal, County Races Top Ballot

May 6, 2012
By JOSELYN KING Political Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING - A contested mayor's race and five contested ward races highlight the city's municipal election, slated for Tuesday.

Polls open at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, and close at 7:30 p.m.

The only ward race uncontested this year is in the 6th Ward, where Vice Mayor Eugene Fahey will win a second term. At least two new council members will be seated this year, as 2nd Ward Councilman Vernon Seals and 4th Ward Councilman James Tiu did not seek re-election.

In the mayor's race, current Mayor Andy McKenzie is facing strong opposition from political newcomer Jerome Poynton for mayor. McKenzie, a former state senator, is completing his first term as mayor.

Twenty-three candidates are seeking seats in the city's five other wards. Those races break down as follows:

-- In the 1st Ward, incumbent Councilwoman Gloria Delbrugge is facing a challenge from newcomer John Bishop.

-- Ward 2 features six candidates, with Charles Ballouz and Tony Domenick previously seeking political office. The other four candidates are Alex Coogan, Ken Imer, Desmond Lekunudos and Aaron Wilkinson.

-- The six candidates in Ward 3 are incumbent Councilman Robert "Herk" Henry, Christopher Dean, Duane Ellis, Chris Hamm, Bob Kleeh and Ted Maxwell.

-- The open seat in Ward 4 is being sought by five candidates: Keith Bell, Randy Berisford, Mark Garrett, Marjorie Klemm and David Miller.

-- In Ward 5, Councilman Donnie Atkinson faces challengers Lloyd Adams, Robert Boord and Perry Napier.

All Wheeling municipal races are non-partisan.

Voters also will see county, state and federal candidates on the ballot Tuesday, as this year's municipal election in Wheeling coincides with the state's primary election.

There are primary elections for sheriff in Ohio County, with incumbent Sheriff Pat Butler and John Powell on the Republican ticket, and former sheriff Thomas Burgoyne and George Fahey on the Democrat ballot.

Ohio County voters also will elect two board of education candidates from among four candidates. Gary Kestner and Dawn Wilson are running in the 1st Magisterial District. But no more than one candidate can come from the 2nd District, where incumbent Sam Andy and Sarah Koegler are candidates.

In Brooke County, two county commission races top the ballot. Commissioner Tim Ennis was appointed in January to the commission seat left vacant following the death of former Commissioner Bernard Kazienko. Ennis is being challenged for the unexpired term in the Democratic primary by current Sheriff Richard Ferguson - who is term-limited and can't seek re-election.

There also are 10 Democratic candidates seeking a full six-year term as commissioner, and Brooke County sees contested Democratic primary elections for prosecutor, sheriff and magistrate.

Voters there will elect two board of education members from among four candidates. Only one of the members can come from the Follansbee District, where James Piccirillo and Bill Schwertfeger are residents. Brian Ferguson is running from the Wellsburg District and Daniel McCauley from the Weirton District.

In Hancock County, there are contested Democrat and Republican primaries for sheriff, as well as a Democrat primary for magistrate. And there is a race for two open seats on the board of education.

In Marshall County, Democrats will select a nominee for sheriff from among Jerry Andrews, Kevin Cecil and John Ebbert III.

Three magistrate nominees also will be chosen from among six candidates - incumbents Bill Anderson, Dave Buzzard, and Mark Kerwood, and challengers Angela Bee, Dave McLaughlin and Darren Whipkey.

Two board of education candidates will be elected from among four candidates. Running in the 1st District are Robert W. Koch and Lori Kestner. Only one member can come from the 3rd District, where Joseph Komorowski and John W. Miller are residents.

Tyler County voters have a contested race for two seats on the board of education, while in Wetzel County, there are Democratic primaries for commissioner, sheriff and assessor.

The state Democrat ballot has contested races for U.S. Senate, governor, agricultural commissioner and the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.

The GOP ticket, meanwhile, includes primary contests for governor and state treasurer.

There is a contested Democrat primary for two 1st Districts seat in the House of Delegates between incumbents Randy Swartzmiller and Ronnie Jones, and Marilyn Boyd of Newell.

And in the 4th Delegate District, incumbent Delegate Scott Varner, D-Marshall, is not seeking re-election. Democratic voters will choose two delegate nominees from among incumbent Mike Ferro, Keith Hughes, David Sidiropolis and R.J. Smith.

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