By Rachel Dove
WILLIAMSON - “It’s not over until it’s over” seemed to be the best way to describe the 2014 Mingo County primary election on Tuesday, as more than one race was too close to call until the final precinct had been counted.
A total of 21,725 registered voters live in the county, but only 6,914 exercised their right to vote, and that total includes early voters as well as absentees.
The coveted circuit court judge’s position had four candidates vying for the seat, and Mingo County Family Court Judge Miki Thompson captured the win with 38.96 percent of the votes. Early in the evening when the votes were first being tabulated, Jonathan “Duke” Jewell took the lead, but that would prove to be short-lived. The final vote total for the judge’s race was Thompson 2,409, Jewell 1,707, Robert Carlton, 1,393 and Teresa McCune, 675.
The prosecuting attorney’s race was a hot one, with incumbent Teresa Maynard and her opponent, Charles “Butch” West, remaining neck and neck throughout the evening. Maynard hung on to her narrow lead of less than 200 votes to claim the victory with a total of 2.755 votes. West finished with 2,573, followed by Wes White with 681.
Mingo County Commission President Greg “Hootie” Smith won his bid for re-election by only 77 votes over his challenger, former Mingo County Sheriff Lonnie Hannah. The two candidates switched places several times during the vote tally. Smith received a total of 3,090 votes to Hannah’s 3,013.
The unexpired Mingo County Commission seat currently held by Mike Carter will soon be surrendered to his challenger, “Big Jim” Hatfield, who won the election with a 357-vote lead. Carter had been appointed to fill that position following the resignation of former Commissioner David Baisden.
In the magistrate’s race, Jim Harvey came out as the winner with 31.47 percent of the votes for a total of 1,859. Finishing in second place was Thomas Taylor, who claimed 1,448, followed by Scott Smith with 1,434, Michelle Webb with 789 and Grady Colin Kelley II with 377.
20th District House of Delegates member Justin Marcum defeated his opponent, Mike Baisden, with an impressive 70 percent of the votes. Total numbers for this race were Marcum, 2,678, and Baisden, 1,149.
In the 21st District delegate race, incumbent Harry Keith White was unopposed and received a total of 1,619 votes.
H. Truman Chafin, the 6th Senatorial District incumbent, also was unopposed, and collected 2,724 votes.
The Mingo County totals for the winners of state and national races are as follows:
Natalie Tennant, 3,858, for U.S. Senate; Nick Rahall, 3,412, U.S. House of Representatives.
For the State Democratic Executive Committee (female) 6th Senatorial District, Anita Skeens Caldwell was the winner. The State Democratic Committee (female) 7th Senatorial District winner was Phyllis White. In the State Democratic Committee (male) 6th Senatorial District, Charles Sammons claimed the top spot. Robby Queen finished first in the State Democratic Committee (male) for the 7th District.
In the Senatorial District Executive Committee race, Ralph Hall was unopposed. The same applies in the 7th Senatorial District race for sole candidate Johnny “Nick” Hager. Phyllis White won the female slot for the 21st Executive Committee Delegates race. Jeremy T. Pinson was unchallenged for the Delegate District Executive Committee 20th District, as was Jeremy Paul Blankenship for the 21st Delegate District.
In the Mingo County Female Executive race, the Lee District winner was Jearlene Maynard; Beech/Ben/Mate District candidate Irene Toler was unopposed; Emily Howell captured the win in the Kermit/Harvey District/ Stephanie (Hannah) Wollum finished first in the Stafford District race; Phyllis White claims the Stafford District position; Lisa Kirk narrowly beat her opponent to finish first in the Tug/Hardee District; and Frances Crawford was the sole candidate in the Williamson District.
In the Male Executive County Committee race, Glen Dale Canada won in the Lee District; Dan Kinder placed first in the Beech/Ben/Mate District; “Big” Ern Williams claimed the Kermit/Harvey District victory; David Justice was successful in his bid for the Magnolia District seat; “Big Jim” Hatfield won in Stafford District; Jerome Maynard defeated three other opponents to claim the Tug/Hardee slot, and Freddie Newsome was unopposed in Williamson District.