By Rachel Baldwin
WILLIAMSON - A list of all candidates who have filed for public office in Mingo County was provided to the Daily News on Wednesday by Deputy Court Clerk Marlena Cisco. The filing period is now over, and the campaigning has begun.
Vying for the unexpired term (4 years) for Sheriff is James Smith, who has held that office since being appointed by the County Commission in 2013 after the death of the late Sheriff, Eugene Crum, and his challenger Roy Tiller, a Williamson resident. Both men are Democrats.
For the unexpired term (left vacant by the resignation of former judge Michael Thornsbury, who was indicted by a federal grand jury and pleaded guilty) of the 30th District Circuit Judge, four candidates have filed to seek office. All are Democrats, with the first two, Teresa McCune and Jonathan “Duke” Jewell, presently serving in the public defender’s office; the third candidate is Miki Thompson, who currently serves as Mingo County’s Family Court Judge, and fourth is Robert Carlton, who is a local attorney who has held public office in the past.
Two terms, one for six years and the other an unexpired term of four years, are up for grabs on the County Commission. Running for the seat he now holds is two-term commissioner Greg “Hootie Smith,” who is up against a former sheriff of Mingo County, Lonnie Hannah. Challenging for the unexpired four-year term (vacated by David Baisden, who resigned after pleading guilty to a federal charge of extortion) will be Mike Carter, who was appointed to that position, as well as “Big Jim” Hatfield, who now serves as County Clerk and who previously served as a commissioner for slightly less than 12 years. David Justice, of Magnolia District, is the final commission candidate.
Seeking the unexpired term of former county Prosecutor C. Michael Sparks, is Teresa Maynard, who currently serves in that position after being appointed by the commission, local attorney Charles “Butch” West and assistant prosecutor Wesley White.
Running for the unexpired Magistrate Court seat left vacant after the resignation of former Magistrate Dallas Toler, who pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of voter fraud, will be Democrats Jim Harvey (who was a previous contender for the seat), Thomas Taylor of Magnolia District, Michelle Webb of Williamson, and Floyd Scott Smith, of Kermit-Harvey District.
Three seats are open for the Mingo County Board of Education, and eight individuals have stepped forward and expressed their intentions to seek office as follows:
Incumbent Stephen “Cheetah” Marcum (Kermit-Harvey District); June Glover (Williamson District); Robert Adams Jr. (Lee District); Hester Keatley (Magnolia District); Gary Davis Jr. (Tug-Hardee District); Mark Colegrove (Lee District); Joshua Davis (Tug-Hardee District) and Jacqueline Branch (Williamson District).
A total of 27 candidates have filed for the County Democratic Executive Committee, with one male and one female elected from each district.
Bob Wellman, Ernest “Big Ern” Williams, Janet Damron and Emily Howell filed for the Kermit-Harvey District; Frances Crawford and Freddie Newsome were the only two candidates for the Williamson District; for the Tug-Hardee District are Judy Smith-Harvey, Lisa Kirk, Lester Hignite Jr., Jerome Marcum and Eddie Hatfield; vying for positions in Lee District are Elmer R. Spence, Nannie Caroline Spence, Jearlene Maynard and Glen Dale Canada; Jeremy Blankenship, Dan Kinder and Irene Toler are the contenders in Beech-Ben-Mate District; in Magnolia District, Kayla Simpkins, Loretta Cox, Stephanie Hannah Woolum, Robert Smith and David Justice have filed; and in Stafford District, contenders are “Big Jim” Hatfield, Monique “Missie” Lester, Joe Hatfield and Phyllis M. White.
A single candidate, Ralph Hall of Williamson, filed for the 6th District Senatorial Executive Committee; in the 7th District Senatorial Executive Committee is Johnny Nick Hager, of Kermit-Harvey District; Phyllis M. White of Stafford District and Jeremy Blankenship of Beech-Ben-Mate District (male and female elected) for the 21st Delegate Executive Committee; and for the 20th Delegate Executive Committee is Jeremy T. Pinson, of Tug-Hardee District.