Pocahontas County Elects Three New Board of Education Members

Voters in the Pocahontas County May 8th Primary Election elected three new Members to the Board of Education, choosing change. Sue Hollandsworth representing the Southern District of the County; Justin Dilley of the Northern District; and John Burns of the Central District each won one of the three contested Board Member seats.   They replace Steve Tritapoe, who did not run for re-election; Emery Grimes, currently President of the Board; and Jessica Hefner, currently Vice President of the Board. The new members will assume their positions in July, joining current Board Members Becky Campbell of the Central District and Joe Walker of the Southern District, members whose terms do not expire this year.

Sue Hollandsworth, a retired teacher and Principal at Hillsboro Elementary School brings a wealth of classroom curriculum and administration skills to the Board.

Justin Dilley brings youth, enthusiasm and new ideas to the Board, while John Burns brings a strong desire to help the school system along with a massive amount of experience managing a large business to his new position as a Board of Education Member.

In a state-wide race that drew National attention, Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Patrick Morrisey edged out Evan Jenkins by about 6 percentage points (35% to 29%) and beat Don Blankenship by 15 percentage points (35% to 20%) as well as 3 other candidates by much greater percentages; however Pocahontas County Voters gave Jenkins about a 14% nod over Morrisey.

Blankenship’s relatively poor showing surprised many since recent polls had shown him surging following his performance in the recent Fox News Debate among the top 3 Republican WV Senate Candidates. National Republican leaders had worried that had Blankenship won the Primary he would be a weak opponent against Democratic incumbent Senator Joe Manchin.

In the Democratic U.S. Senate Primary, Manchin beat out his primary opponent winning  over 60% of the vote both in Pocahontas County and State wide.

In the November General Elections, it will be Manchin and Morrisey squaring off against each other in another West Virginia Election with huge national political interest and significance.

Attorney Laura Finch from Pocahontas County handily beat Margaret Kerr Beckwith of Randolph County for the Democratic nomination for State Senate from the 11th Senatorial District. Laura won big here in Pocahontas County as well as District wide. Laura will face Republican nominee Bill Hamilton of Upshur County who handily beat Robert Lee Karnes in the Republican Primary for State Senate both District wide and here in Pocahontas County.

In what many would consider an upset, Democratic incumbent Phil Isner came in 3rd place against fellow Democratic Incumbent Bill Hartman and Cody Thompson in the Democratic race for the WV House of Delegates, 43rd District. As there are two delegates from the 43rd District, Both Hartman and Thompson will be the Democratic Nominees to run against Republicans William “TY” Nester and Mike House in the November General Election. Nester and House were unopposed in the Republican 43rd Delegate race.

For U.S. House of Representatives, 3rd Congressional District, Democratic candidate Richard Ojeda handily won his Democratic primary contest over 3 other candidates both here in Pocahontas County and District wide. In November, Ojeda will face off against Republican Primary winner Carol Miller who won District wide but came in second place here in Pocahontas  County against 6 other Republican candidates.

Whether your favorite candidates won or lost, look at the bright side. No more political mailings or phone calls just when you are sitting down to supper – at least until after Labor Day!

Story By

Tim Walker

Tim is the WVMR News Reporter. Tim is a native of Maryland who started coming to Pocahontas County in the 1970’s as a caver. He bought land on Droop Mountain off Jacox Road in 1976 and built a small house there in the early 80’s. While still working in Maryland, Tim spent much time at his place which is located on the Friars Hole Cave Preserve. Retiring in 2011 as a Lieutenant with the Anne Arundel County Police Department in Maryland, Tim finally took the plunge and moved from Maryland to his real home on Droop Mountain. He began working as the Pocahontas County Reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio in January of 2015.

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