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2020 Campaign Filing Starts In West Virginia

WHEELING — Election year 2020 officially kicked off in West Virginia on Monday, with just one presidential candidate submitting a candidate filing on the first day.

Organizers for Pete Buttigeg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, filed on his behalf with the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office on the first day of filing.

Candidates for office in 2020 have until midnight Jan. 25 to submit the necessary paperwork to appear on May 12 primary ballots in the state.

There weren’t as many candidate filings on Monday as political pundits might have suspected on the first day of what is expected to be a contentious election year locally, and across the state and nation.

Former state Sen. Richard Ojeda of Holden filed as a Democrat in the race for the U.S. Senate seat presently occupied by U.S. Sen. Shelley Capito, R-West Virginia. Also filing in the race as a Democrat was Paula Jean Swearengin of Sophia.

The race for governor drew one filing, and that came from former Delegate Michael “Mike” Folk, a Republican from Martinsburg.

Former Secretary of State Natalie Tennant of Charleston will seek nomination to her former job on the Democrat ticket.

Dave Miller of Tunnelton, a Democrat, was the only candidate to file for commission of agriculture.

Three justices on the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals will be elected in 2020.

On Monday, Richard Neely of Charleston filed for the Division 1 seat, and Joanna Tabit — also of Charleston — filed in Division 2. Both seats are for full 12-year terms on the court.

Justice John A. Hutchison of Beckley, appointed earlier this year to the court, is seeking election to the unexpired term.

Delegate Dave Pethtel, D-Wetzel, was the only local candidate to file on Monday for election in the legislature.

* In Ohio County, Commissioner Tim McCormick was the first candidate to file, and he will seek re-election in 2020 on the Democrat ballot. Jim Kleeh filed in the race as a Republican.

Assessor Tiffany Hoffman filed for re-election, as did Prosecuting Attorney Scott Smith. Both are Democrats.

Also filing for re-election was Magistrate Joe Roxby, and Republican Johnny Carl Bitzer Jr. filed in the race.

Retired Wheeling Park High School teacher Peter Chacalos will run for a seat on the board of education.

Municipal elections also take place in the city of Wheeling during the May 12 election, and candidates began filing on Monday.

Businessman Chris Hamm was the first to file for mayor.

Filing for council seats were Ben Seidler in Ward 2; Jerome “Jake” Henry in Ward 3; Jeff Knierim in Ward 4; Travis McKinley and Ty Thorngate in Ward 5; and Dave Palmer in Ward 6.

* In Brooke County, Commissioner Stacey “Hukill” Wise filed for re-election, and did Sheriff Larry Palmer and Assessor Thomas A. Oughton. All are Democrats.

Magistrate Robin “Hukill” Snyder filed for re-election, and Daniell Diserio also filed in the race.

* In Hancock County, Democrat Joseph Alongi filed for assessor, and Seth Cheuvront will seek a seat on the board of education.

* In Marshall County, current Delegate Joe Canestraro, D-Marshall, filed to run for prosecuting attorney.

The sheriff’s race attracted two Democrats, Ed Trojan Coster and William Helms. Assessor Terry McDiffitt — a Democrat — has filed to continue in the job.

Four candidates filed for magistrate — Zachary Allman, Don Dewitt, Mark Kerwood and Thomas P. Wood.

Lori Kestner, John Miller, Timothy Reilly and Adam Truex filed as candidates on the board of education.

* In Tyler County, Prosecuting Attorney D. Luke Furbee filed for re-election as a Republican.

Two Republicans filed in the race for sheriff — Benjamin Placer and Brian Weigle. Lisa Jackson and Chad Swiger filed for assessor on the Republican ticket.

Mary Dotson and Michael “Mike” Griffin filed in the magistrate’s race, and Patricia Thomas filed for conservation district supervisor.

* In Wetzel County, Dave Shreve filed for commissioner; Timothy Haught for prosecuting attorney; Mike Koontz for sheriff; and Scott Lemley for assessor. All are Democrats.

Judith Phillips Goontz and Billie Zimmerman filed for assessor, while Warren Lee Grace Jr. and William Jones filed in the board of education race.

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