November 6, 2012
Julia Roberts Goad
President Barack Obama won re-election Tuesday night despite a fierce challenge from Mitt Romney as well as a weak economy and high unemployment that crimped the middle class dreams of millions.
However, both West Virginia and Kentucky voters crossed party lines to overwhelmingly favor Mitt Romney over President Barack Obama.
In Mingo and Pike Counties, voters chose Romney, a battle won in the so-called “war on coal.”
Since the election of Obama, the Environmental Protection Agency has made it increasingly difficult for coal companies to obtain the permits needed to mine coal, particularly surface mines.
The total percentage of voters in Mingo County who chose Romney was 69.8 percent, with 27.4 of voters voting for Obama.
Pike County voters were even more decisive, with 74.4 percent favoring Romney over Obama, who garnered 23.8 percent of voters.
However, the shift of West Virginia Democrats to a Republican candidate ended at the Federal level.
Incumbent Senator Joe Manchin and Governor Earl Ray Tomblin both won reelection on the promise to fight the regulatory agency.
After winning, Manchin spoke of moving beyond party politics.
“I am going back to Washington more determined than ever to move this country forward, bring people together, get this economy growing stronger, put our financial house in order and create an energy plan that works – just like we did in West Virginia,” Manchin said.
Other races in West Virginia included two seats up for grabs on the state Supreme Court.
The race was a tight one, but at presstime, it was projected incumbent Robin Davis and Allen Loughry of Tucker County would win over John Yoder and Mingo native Tish Chafin. However, in Mingo County, Chafin won the vote.
In the Kentucky, incumbent Representative Hal Rogers won handily for of District Five, with over 76 percent of the vote over Democrat Kenneth Stepp.
The single constitutional amendment on the ballot in West Virginia concerned term limits.
The code on the books before the election called for county sheriffs to be limited to two terms of four years. An amendment was on the ballot to remove that term limit.
That amendment race was close in Mingo and the rest of the state. Mingo County voters defeated the amendment. Over 51 percent of voters chose to keep the term limit in place, 3,983 to 3,788. Statewide, with 91 percent of the votes tallied, the amendment to abolish term limits was ahead, 52 to 48 percent.