Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

May 14, 2014

Three run unopposed for House 27 Republican primary

PRINCETON — Mercer County voters cast their ballots Tuesday for three candidates running unopposed for the House of Delegates District 27 Republican primary.

The candidates seeking the District 27 nomination included incumbent Republicans Joe C. Ellington Jr. of Princeton, Marty Gearheart of Bluefield, and John H. Shott of Bluefield.

With 41 of Mercer County’s 41 District 27 precincts counted, the unofficial results showed Ellington with 903 votes; Gearheart with 895 votes; and Shott with 949 votes.

With all of Raleigh County’s precincts reporting, unofficial totals showed Ellington with 18 votes, Gearheart with 17 votes, and Shott with 12 votes.

Carol B. Bailey of Princeton — who was appointed by the state Democratic Executive Committee as a candidate for the House 27 race — did not appear on the May primary ballot, but will appear on the November ballot when she will challenge Shott, Ellington and Gearheart for one of the three District 27 seats.

“I think it’s important for people get in the habit of voting whether it’s a contested race or not, and I appreciate those people who took the time to get out and vote and especially those who demonstrated confidence in me by voting for me,” Shott said. “I’ll be trying to focus on ways to improve the economy and increase the number of jobs that are available, and I think it’s also important to reduce the size of government and protect people’s constitutional rights.”

Ellington also said he appreciated the residents who took the time to vote.

“First, I would like to thank everyone for the opportunity to represent them and I appreciate that they trust in me to do the job for them,” he said.

“This is my second term, so I’m going for a third term.”

“I want to congratulate my running mates,” Ellington stated. “I think we make a good team, John Shott, Marty Gearheart and myself. I think we can do a really good job for the county and the community in the state legislature in the years to come.”

Issues the Legislature needs to address include infrastructure, bringing more jobs to West Virginia, and improving the education system, he said.

“We also need to work within our budget,” Ellington added.

Gearheart said he voted early.

“I’m always grateful for those who are willing to let me represent them in the Legislature. It’s a very humbling experience. I’m honored to get the opportunity to get to serve with Joe and John, and hopefully we’ll all be able to be successful in November,” Gearheart said.

Gearheart stated that since he is in the minority, many of the issues he would like to address are being repeated.

“One is the repeal of West Virginia’s cap and trade law, and assurance of removal of the turnpike tolls in 2019. One would be education reform. The other would be dealing with the equipment and inventory tax, and the final would be lawsuit reform,” Gearheart said.

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

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