Prosecutor-elect comments on effort to annul election result
Marlinton, W.Va. – Cheryl McCullough, of Arbovale, filed a petition with the state Supreme Court, seeking to annul the election of Eugene Simmons as Pocahontas County Prosecutor. Simmons was not a candidate in the primary election but was placed on the ballot, as an unaffiliated candidate, through a nominating procedure, by which he obtained a sufficient number of signatures on a petition.
In her petition, McCullough argues that only signatures from persons without a party affiliation are valid on such a nominating petition.
Simmons said on Thursday he had just learned of McCullough’s action.
“Well, we have a little group that gets together every morning and have coffee at 5:30 and I was reading the paper this morning and I saw a little article in there that the young lady had filed a petition with the Supreme Court,” he said. “Basically, I don’t even know if the Supreme Court hears these things or not. The Supreme Court, as I understand it, is not back in session until the 14th of January or something like that. I haven’t had an opportunity – because they don’t serve me a copy of the papers which she filed. So, basically, as Will Rogers said, I only know what I read in the paper.”
The prosecutor-elect says he followed the correct procedures in getting on the ballot.
“Well, in order to do that, we immediately called the Secretary of State’s office,” he said. “I read the code and then called the Secretary of State’s office to see what we had to do. Went through the County Clerk over here. I believe she did the same thing, probably – called the Secretary of State’s office and we followed through in just exactly the code required to do. There’s no way I’m going to do anything illegal, in relation to that. So, I can assure you we did it the way it was supposed to be done.”
Simmons says he is preparing to get to work as prosecutor.
“You know, it’s hard to second-guess the Supreme Court, because they’re an independent body, obviously,” he said. “But I would wonder if they would entertain it. But one never knows. The election’s been certified. If they had that complaint, they should have filed it two or three months ago. I think the election’s been certified and I can assure you – as of January first, I will be in the prosecutor’s office, doing what a prosecutor should do.”