Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV


May 13, 2014

Decision 2014: Time to vote in West Virginia

— — There is much at stake today as voters across southern West Virginia prepare to cast a ballot. Candidates will be nominated on the local, state and federal levels. And in some instances — where unfortunately there is only one political party candidate on the ballot — those races will be decided today.

But thankfully most races in our region are contested. And in some cases the ballot will be quite crowded. For example, five Democrats are vying for their party’s nomination in the closely-watched race for a single seat on the Mercer County Commission. The winner of the contest between Democrats Terry Basham, Robert W. “Bob” Carter, Phillip B. Ball, Lyle Cottle and John Sommers will face Republican Greg Puckett this November, who is running unopposed for the GOP nomination. And in McDowell County, eight candidates are vying for three seats in the county’s closely watched Board of Education race. Those candidates include incumbents Jimmy Copolo, Lynda “Pip” Evans and Kevin Wade, along with challengers Margaret Beavers, Julie Church, Brenda S. Goodson, Mike Mitchem and Georgia Muncy West.

State and federal races also are contested today. For example, Democrat Cliff Moore, D-McDowell, is being challenged by fellow Democrat S.P. “Pat” McKinney in the closely-watched House of Delegates District 26 race. The winner of today’s contest will face Republican Tom Acosta in November who is running unopposed for the GOP nomination.

And even some of the high-profile candidates on the federal level are being challenged for their party’s nomination. For example, U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., is being challenged by fellow Democrat Richard OJeda II for the Democratic nomination in the U.S. House 3 race. The same goes for Democrat Natalie Tennant and Republican Shelley Moore Capito in the closely watched U.S. Senate race in West Virginia. Before the two can square off this November, they must win their party’s nomination today. Tennant is being challenged by two Democrats — David Wamsley and Dennis Melton. Capito is being challenged by two Republicans — Larry Eugene Butcher and Matthew Dodrill.

Locally, we consider the Mercer County Commission contest to be one of the most important races. Future economic development and growth in the county is vital. The Daily Telegraph has endorsed Sommers for the Democratic nomination and Puckett for the Republican nomination in the county commission race.

Everyone who is a registered voter should cast a ballot today. Polls open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m.

The decisions awaiting voters are critical. Every ballot cast will be of the utmost importance.

Today is a chance to make your voice and opinion heard regarding the region’s future. Don’t let the opportunity pass you by. Please vote!

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