Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

October 8, 2013

Commission to discuss filling Coburn’s seat

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

PRINCETON — Filling a vacancy on the Mercer County Commission is a matter up for discussion today during the commission’s monthly meeting at the Mercer County Courthouse.

A new commissioner is needed to fill the vacancy created when long-time Commissioner Joe Coburn passed away. A new person must be appointed to complete the remainder of Coburn’s term.

Coburn passed away on Oct. 3 at his Athens home. He was serving his third consecutive term with the county commission.

“We will have to appoint someone else,” said Mike Vinciguerra, the commission’s president. “His term was over next year. They won’t be able to keep that seat, and they would have to run in May in the primary.”

The county commission’s meeting begins at 10 a.m. today.

Coburn’s term was set to end on Dec. 31, 2014, Vinciguerra said. The person who assumes Coburn’s seat would have to be, like him, a Democrat.

“We’ll probably announce that people interested in it should contact us,” he said of the vacancy.

One county resident, Robert W. Carter of Princeton, has expressed interest in completing Coburn’s term. Carter said he ran a “close second” behind Coburn in the primary election of 2008.

“Mr. Coburn was too ill to attend many meetings during this past term and I believe we need to get the county’s business back on firm ground with a full commission representing all the districts,” Carter said in a letter to the Bluefield Daily Telegraph.