Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

November 1, 2013

Former county delegate to fill vacant seat on Mercer County Commission

By GREG JORDAN
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

PRINCETON — A former county delegate was appointed Thursday to fill a vacant seat on the Mercer County Commission.

 Terry Basham, 60, of Lashmeet was appointed during a special meeting of the Mercer County Commission to complete the term of the late Joe Coburn, who passed away Oct. 3. Coburn’s term was slated to end Dec. 31, 2014. County Clerk Verlin Moye administered the oath of office immediately after Basham was appointed.

Basham, a Democrat, said he served in the state House of Delegates from 1987 to 1990 and ran for the county commission in 1990. He won the primary, but was defeated in the general election that year.

“Since that period of time, I’ve been working for the West Virginia Highway Department,” Basham said after the meeting. “I’ve been with the highway department the last 23 years. I worked out of District 10, Exit 14 at Gardner. I was office manager for the resurfacing department. District 10 has Mercer, Raleigh, Wyoming and McDowell Counties.”

Basham’s address makes him a resident of District 3, the same district Joe Coburn served.

“I’ve always really wanted to be on the county commission. I retired this morning from the highway department,” he said.

Basham said he hoped to help work on tourism, economic development and infrastructure in Mercer County.

“Mercer County has a lot to offer,” he stated. “Hopefully we can promote it.”

Basham is considering a run for the county commission seat.

“There is a very strong possibility. We’ll see how it works out. The election will be next year,” he said.

County Commissioner President Mike Vinciguerra and Commissioner Gene Buckner examined 22 applications and conducted interviews before selecting Basham to complete Joe Coburn’s term.

“We just think he was one of the best candidates we could pick. We feel Terry will do a good job for the people of Mercer County and work alongside us. We’re three strong,” Buckner said.

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com