The Mingo County Commission and the County Clerk’s office held their official vote canvas on Monday in the basement of the courthouse with several observers there as the tedious recount took place.
The canvass took more than seven hours as the early votes, the actual votes from the primary election (held on Tuesday) and then the provisional votes were counted. There were about 100 provisional (challenged) votes and they were meticulously counted one by one. Some of them were thrown out for various reasons – such as the voter was not registered or had voted in the wrong precinct.
The only race that could have seen a change was that of the County Clerk’s position where challenger Yogi Croaff lost by only 19 votes to incumbent “Big” Jim Hatfield.
After the final votes were tallied, Hatfield actually gained four votes besting Croaff 3,326 to 3,303. The final margin was 23 votes.
There are 39 precincts in Mingo County and each of those locations had to be recounted via computer and checked by hand. A representative from the Secretary of State’s office was on hand for the canvass, but only as an observer. Attorney Tish Chafin also spent the day watching the canvass and taking notes. She was representing Mr. Hatfield.
Hatfield was on hand for most of the canvass, as was Croaff. Hatfield said, “I want to thank all of the good people that have been so good to me through the years. I will continue to work for the people – I’m the same old Jim and will have an open door policy like I always have.”
The Williamson Daily News (WDN) received a couple of more comments from candidates that won nominations in the primary election. Miki Thompson and Duke Jewell both sent statements to the WDN.
“My supporters always amaze me. I truly love and appreciate everyone. I am humbled not only by their support, but their belief in me. I will continue to strive to live up to their hopes and expectations. I want them to know that their belief in me has made me a better person and a better judge. For those who did not support me, I will continue to work hard to earn their respect and trust. Mingo County is a special place, with special people. We deserve a fair and honest court system and I will continue doing everything I can to keep it that way,” said incumbent Circuit Judge Miki Thompson.
Jonathan “Duke” Jewell upset incumbent Mingo County Prosecuting Attorney Teresa Maynard in the Primary Election last Tuesday. Jewell had this statement, “My family and I are thrilled with the outcome of the election. It was a very exhausting and stressful campaign. I’m overwhelmed with emotion and I’m so grateful for the win. I ran a very clean and positive campaign and conducted myself as a professional. I’m glad that resonated with voters. “
“I’m relieved to have the election behind me and I look forward to taking office in January. It was a pleasure spending time with all the people I talked to while campaigning and I encourage everyone to call or come and see me with their concerns about our county. I would like to thank everyone for the help and support along the way,” Jewell added.
Editor’s Note: The Williamson Daily News will post the final vote counts for the other races in Wednesday’s paper.
(Kyle Lovern is the Managing Editor for the Civitas Media Mountain District including the Williamson Daily News and Logan Banner. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)