Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

January 14, 2013

Mercer municipalities prepare for city, town election filing periods

By KATE COIL
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

OAKVALE — Candidates will soon be able to file to run for office in the five Mercer County municipalities hosting city and town elections this year.

The filing period begins on Jan. 16 for residents of Oakvale who want to run for the seven open seats in town government, according to town treasurer and recorder Shenae Bailey.

“The filing period will last from Jan. 16 to Jan. 26,” Bailey said. “The deadline to be a write-in candidate is on April 23. All five council seats are open as are the mayoral and treasurer’s seats. We have redone our town charter, so each seat has a four-year term.”

Bailey said candidates must meet certain qualifications in order to file.

“You must live within the town limits and be a registered voter in order to run,” she said. “You have to pay the $5 filing fee and fill out your candidate certificate of announcement. Anyone can come to the town office during operating hours to file.”

 The Oakvale town election will be held on June 11, Bailey said.

Seven seats are up for grabs in Bramwell this year, according to Bramwell Mayor Louise Stoker.

“We will be setting our filing period later on this month, but it must fall during a certain period by law,” Stoker said. “The positions of mayor, recorder and the five town council seats are up for election. We will be putting out a public notice of the filing period and candidates can file during that time.”

Stoker said there are two requirements to run for office in Bramwell.

“It is open to anyone who is a resident of the town of Bramwell and is at least 18-years-old,” she said. “Each position is for a two-year term that will begin on July 1. Anyone who needs more information can stop by or call the town hall.”

The Bramwell election will be held on May 14, according to Marie Hill with the Mercer County Voter’s Office.

Residents of Bluefield will elect new members to the city’s board of directors on June 4, according to City Clerk Helen Mitchell.

“Candidates can file between March 18 and April 14,” Mitchell said. “They have to be a Bluefield resident and fill out their application during that time frame. All city board seats are up for election to a four-year term of office.”

Mitchell said candidates can either run for a district or as an at-large member.

“We have three district candidates and two at-large candidates,” Mitchell said. “If you run for a district, only voters from your district can vote for you. Anyone can run for and vote for the at-large candidates. The board typically elects the mayor among the five winning candidates. In the past, the mayor has been the candidate who received the most votes, but there is no criteria for how they have to choose the mayor.”

Mitchell said the city will be running an ad with more information on the filing process as it gets closer to the filing period.

The Princeton municipal election will also be held on June 4. Princeton City Clerk Ken Clay said the filing period for candidates begins on Feb. 1 and will last through April 1.

“Candidates must have a petition signed by at least 25 qualified voters in their ward in order to run for office,” Clay said. “The signatures must come from their respective ward. Since the positions are non-partisan they must have the petitions signed.”

Clay said there are four positions up for election to a four-year term on the Princeton City Council this year.

“There are four wards in the city and all four wards are up for election,” Clay said. “We have four ward representatives and three at-large members on the council who have alternating elections.”

Clay said nominating petitions and other filing material will be made available for potential candidates at the city offices on Feb. 1.

The town of Matoaka will have an election this year but has not yet established their filing period or further information on their election, according to the Mercer County Voter’s Office.

— Contact Kate Coil at kcoil@bdtonline.com