MOUNDSVILLE - By accepting 47 provisional ballots Monday during the vote canvass for the primary election, Marshall County officials broke a tie in a McMechen City Council 1st Ward race.
Although County Clerk Jan Pest said she and county commissioners could not officially certify the race until at least Wednesday because of a new state law, vote totals now show McMechen's 1st Ward candidates Aaron Kwiatkoski and Karen Phipps as the winners. The city elects two council representatives for each of its three wards, with the top two finishers gaining the seats.
The Monday canvass changed Kwiatkoski's total from last week's primary from 48 to 49 votes, while the new count also gave Phipps an additional vote to finish with 35. Last week, Phipps and Mike Mamula were tied at 34 votes, with Councilwoman Nancy Boreman holding 32 votes.
Photo by Casey Junkins
Completing the canvass for the primary election Monday are, from left, Marshall County Clerk Jan Pest, Commissioner Don Mason and Commissioner Bob Miller.
Pending a recount, Kwiatkoski and Phipps will now replace Boreman and Councilman Eric Thornton. Boreman joined Mamula in finishing Monday's canvass with 34 votes, while Thornton did not seek re-election.
If the vote would have still been tied after the canvass, City Clerk Suzanne DeBolt said one of several tiebreaking procedures could have been used, including a coin flip.
DeBolt acknowledged the city is in the midst of significant change in its political leadership. Of the six council slots and the mayor's post, only Councilwoman Pat Wilson will be in the same position when the new group takes charge July 1.
"There will be some major turnover," she said.
With 296 votes, Councilman Gregg Wolfe won the race for mayor by defeating Josephine "Jo Marie" Mackin, who finished with 153 votes. Replacing Wolfe and Jill Hawkins in the 2nd Ward seats are John A. McCombs Jr. and David Goddard, who earned 155 and 116 votes, respectively.
Kevin J. Bratton and Wilson took 3rd Ward seats over Councilwoman Alice M. Hill. Bratton received 59 votes and Wilson received 42 votes, with Hill finishing with 39.
Scott Varner will run as the Democrat candidate against Republican Fred Brunner for Marshall County Commission after winning the primary vote. Varner picked up 10 additional votes in the Monday canvass to finish with 1,492, compared to 1,005 for Dennis Wallace and 861 for Mike Eskridge.
Voters also elected Duane Miller to replace Marshall County Board of Education President Roger Lewicki. With 2,350 votes, Miller earned the most votes of the eight candidates who ran for the board.
Voters chose to re-elect Thomas Gilbert and Beth A. Phillips to continue serving on the board. Gilbert gathered 1,787 votes and Phillips took 1,778 votes. Lewicki, who has served four terms on the board, earned 1,602 votes.
B. Beth Bertram, Carl Boso, Chelsea Toth and Thomas Michael Stalnaker were also defeated in the race.
Bertram received 1,741 votes, Boso had 1,298 votes, while Toth took 1,290. Stalnaker earned the least amount of votes at 1,266.