By Rachel Dove
WILLIAMSON - All eyes are on Mingo County, as the 2014 primary election is fast approaching.
Scheduled for Tuesday, several of the positions on the ballot are there due to federal investigations and indictments that removed several politicians from office, creating vacancies that must be filled.
The offices that fit into that category are the circuit judge’s position (Michael Thornsbury), prosecuting attorney (C. Michael Sparks), Mingo County Commission (David Baisden), and magistrate (Dallas Toler). Also on the ballot is the sheriff’s position, which is being contested due to the murder of former Sheriff Eugene Crum, who was elected in 2012.
Early voting concluded on Saturday with more than 700 people taking advantage of voting before the actual day of balloting for the primary. On Tuesday, polls will be open between the hours of 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Two voting places have changed; Precinct 7 has been relocated from Goodman Manor to the cafeteria of the former Williamson High School, and Precinct 56 has moved from the Donald Taylor Community Center in North Matewan to the Matewan Pre K-8.
All candidates who are running for office are Democrats; no Republicans have filed.
Competing for the unexpired term for the office of circuit judge are Miki Thompson, Robert Carlton, Jonathan “Duke” Jewell and Teresa McCune.
Candidates for the unexpired term of county prosecutor are Teresa Hall Maynard (appointed to fill the position until election), Charles Stanford “Butch” West and Wes White. White was said to have withdrawn from the race and moved out of state, but calls to the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office and the Mingo County Clerk’s Office produced no evidence that this occurred. White is still listed as a viable candidate.
For the unexpired magistrate’s term, the five candidates are Jim Harvey, Grady Colin Kelley II, Michele Lynn Webb, Thomas E. Taylor and Floyd Scott Smith.
For the unexpired sheriff’s office are James M. Smith. who was appointed to serve in that position, and his opponent, Roy Tiller.
Two seats on the county commission are on this year’s ballot, with incumbent Greg “Hootie” Smith facing off against former sheriff Lonnie Hannah for a full term, and Mike Carter (appointed to serve after the resignation of David Baisden) and “Big Jim” Hatfield, who currently serves as the Mingo County Clerk, who are running to serve Baisden’s unexpired term.
Eight candidates filed to run for two open Mingo County Board of Education seats. They are Josh Davis, Gary W. Davis Sr., Hester Keatley, Jacqueline K. Branch, Mark Colegrove, Robert “Robbie” Adams Jr., Stephen “Cheetah” Marcum and June Mitchell Glover.
The Williamson Daily News will be posting election updates on its website, williamsondailynews.com, throughout the evening on Tuesday, keeping the public informed as the precincts begin reporting. A full listing of winners will be published in Thursday’s print edition.