David McLaughlin and William Beard win Pocahontas County Commission
Democratic candidates won the northern and southern district County Commission races in Pocahontas County. As results came in from the county’s 15 precincts on Tuesday evening, David McLaughlin of Dunmore and William Beard of Hillsboro said they were looking forward to starting work on the commission.
In a close race with Republican challenger Charles Wilfong, McLaughlin received 56.8% of the vote with 1,396 votes counted. Wilfong received 43% percent of the vote with 1,058 votes. Beard received 1,881 votes compared to 510 votes for Republican Norman Lee Alderman.
The special referendum on a school levy failed to pass with 1,677 votes against and 827 votes in favor of the levy.
Beard and McLaughlin said their farming roots in the county will help them govern effectively and both said creating jobs were a main priority.
McLaughlin is a retired farmer and Wilfong serves as West Virginia Farm Bureau President.
“I’m glad that there’s three commissioners, whether I’m elected or Mr. Wilfong, that we’re all three county residents, all born and raised in the county, I think that’s going to be a plus for the county’s trust in the commission,” McLaughlin said.
Beard was nominated to the County Commission last year after Democratic Commission President Dolan Irvine passed away. He said he hopes to continue working for the citizens.
“I think one of the main priorities is that since this is a rural county and we have a high unemployment rate, I think any chances of any jobs is an important part of being on the commission, if we can implement any new industry or anything that will provide a few jobs, at least a few jobs or more, that’s one of the important things, and to serve also as representing a useful way of using county funds, that’s an important part of why I‘m here,” Beard said.
“I’m here for the people of the county and I’m all the time interested in listening to other people and what they have to say,” Beard said.
For the State House of Delegates race, representing Grant, Nicholas, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Randolph, Upshur, and Webster counties, Democrats Denise Campbell and Bill Hartman won over Republicans Mary Catherine Boltz and Charles Kinnison.
The West Virginia State Senate race Republican Robert Karnes beat Democratic incumbent Gregory Tucker 56% to 44%.
Republicans took control of the state House of Delegates for the first time since 1931 and gained 17 seats in the state Senate. Republicans also took control of the West Virginia U.S. Senate and House of Delegates races with Shelley Moore Capito beating Natalie Tenant for the seat vacated by the long-serving Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller.
Republican Alex Mooney beat Democrat Nick Casey for the U.S. House of Delegate seat previously occupied by Capito. Republican Evan Jenkins brought down Democratic incumbent Nick Rahall, who had served in the U.S. Congress since 1976.