More candidates file as deadline approaches
by PHILLIP WILLIAMS
Dec 05, 2013 | 1339 views | 0 0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Two more candidates filed to run last week for Upshur County elective offices in the March 4 Republican primary, said county GOP Chairman Cynthia Ridgeway.

In addition, a new candidate for Pct. 2 County Commissioner, Don Gross, filed papers with the County Clerk’s office Monday designating his campaign treasurer, but has not filed to run for a party nomination.

Kathryn Wilson filed Nov. 25 to run for District Clerk, joining Karen Bunn in that race to succeed retiring incumbent Carolyn Parrott, while Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace Lyle Potter, who has no announced opponent thus far for reelection, filed the following day.

Others who have filed for the Republican race include District Attorney Billy Byrd, County Judge Dean Fowler, Pct. 2 County Commissoner Cole Hefner, Pct. 4 County Commissioner Mike Spencer, and Pct. 3 Justice of the Peace Rhonda T. Welch, all seeking reelection.

Also, Terri Ross, seeking retiring County Clerk Barbara Winchester’s position; Rebecca (Becky) Skinner, seeking retiring Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace W.V. Ray’s post; Kimberly Clift Stone and Cheryl Taylor, vying for the Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace post currently held by Laura Lee Norred, who has not announced whether she will seek reelection.

Candidates wanting to file for the GOP primary should call Mrs. Ridgeway at 903- 968-6822.

Upshur County Democratic Party Chairman Dan Miles Jr. said Monday no candidates for county office have yet filed with him to run in his party’s March 4 primary, but that he plans to file to seek reelection as county chairman. Anybody wanting to run in his primary should contact him at 903-968-2545.

In addition, former County Clerk Peggy LaGrone has announced plans to seek the Upshur County Libertarian Party’s nomination for her onetime post, to which she was elected as a Republican. Anyone wanting to seek the Libertarian nomination for a county office can contact the party’s County Chairman, Vance Lowry, at 903- 843-2257.

Unlike Republicans and Democrats, who hold primary elections, the Upshur Libertarians will nominate any candidate(s) for county office at their county convention March 4. The local Libertarians fielded their first-ever candidates for county office in 2010, but none in 2012.

Democrats also fielded no candidates for county office here in 2012 for the first time in recent memory.

Several other candidates for Upshur elective offices have filed documents with the County Clerk’s Office designating campaign treasurers, but those papers do not show their political party affiliation.

Besides at least some of the candidates already listed, those who have filed those documents and the offices they seek include Ronnica Ridgeway, County Judge; Karmen Kelley, Pct. 4 County Commissioner; Sherry Jewkes-Larsen, Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace; and Brandy Vick, seeking retiring County Treasurer Myra Harris’s post.

All but Ms. Vick have announced they will seek the Republican nomination for their offices. Another woman who planned to seek the GOP nomination for County Clerk, Lisa Neeley, recently announced she was withdrawing her candidacy.

Deadline for filing to run for any of the three parties’ nomination is 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 9.

Judge Ray and Mrs. Harris are the only two Democrats holding countywide elective offices; Ray is the dean of county officeholders, while Mrs. Harris has the second longest tenure.

115th District Judge Lauren Parish, who has been elected as a Democrat and whose judgeship is up for election in Upshur and Marion Counties in 2014, said recently at a luncheon that she would not run for an appellate court post because “I’m happy where I am.”
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