Campaign 2020

Hampshire County will elect a new prosecutor and a new county commissioner this year.

And, in a race that drew no attention until the next-to-the-last day, 3 people filed for 2 seats on the school board — including a 19-year-old who graduated from Hampshire High School just last May.

Two weeks of filing closed Saturday with 6 local races — assessor, 2 magistrates, sheriff, surveyor and 57th Delegate district — uncontested. 

The commission election has had the side effect of creating a 3-way race for the usually sleepy office of conservation district supervisor.

Two contested local races have formed for the State Legislature — 3 men vying for the 58th Delegate District that includes the eastern end of the county and a Republican primary for the 15th Senate District that includes all of Hampshire County.

Four of the uncontested county offices have incumbents running for another term – Assessor Norma Wagoner, Surveyor Rick Moreland and Magistrates Ron DiCiolla and John Rohrbaugh.

A 5th also has a familiar face. Nathan Sions is running for sheriff, an office he held from 2004-2012. West Virginia law only allows sheriffs 2 consecutive terms. Sions stepped down as sheriff and served 2 terms as chief deputy to John Alkire, who is term-limited from running again this year.

Seven-term incumbent Ruth Rowan is also unopposed in her bid for another 2 years representing the 57th Delegate District, covering western Hampshire and northern Mineral counties.

In the neighboring 58th District, Hampshire County’s eastern side paired with most of Morgan County, Daryl Cowles is seeking another term. He faces George Miller of Berkeley Springs in the Republican primary. Democrat Tom Hayden has also filed.

Craig Blair has drawn a primary opponent to his bid for another term in the state senate representing the 15th District, which includes all of Hampshire and Morgan counties and parts of Mineral and Berkeley counties. Kenneth Mattson of Inwood filed even before Blair did.

In the 2nd Congressional District that includes Hampshire County, Republican Rep. Alex Mooney has a primary opponent in Matthew Hahn of Berkeley Springs. The winner will face off against Democrat Cathy Kunkel of Charleston in November.

Even though incumbents hold the top 3 spots on the ballot — President Trump, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito and Gov. Jim Justice — 35 people have filed to run for those 3 offices.

Trump faces 3 challengers in the Republican primary, including former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, and 14 Democrats have filed, even though most will be gone by the time West Virginia votes on May 12.

Capito has 2 Republican challengers, Larry Eugene Butcher and Allen Whitt. The 2 best-known names in the Democratic race are former State Sen. Bob Ojeda, who briefly ran for president last year, and Paula Jean Swearingen, who ran for Congress 2 years ago.

Justice has drawn 6 Republican opponents, most notably engineering exec Woody Thrasher, and 4 Democrats, including Stephen Smith, who has been conducting an all-55-counties tour since last year.  

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