KERMIT – Things will stay the same for the town council for the city of Kermit, with the exception of one new member. Dr. J.W. Endicott, who lives and practices in his hometown, was elected to fill one of the five seats.
Current Mayor Charles Sparks was unopposed in Tuesday’s election. Sparks had been voted in as mayor by the town council after longtime former mayor Johnny Linville passed away a few weeks ago.
There were seven people running for five council seats, including four incumbents. The four incumbents were seeking reelection to remain on the northern Mingo County governing council. They were Tammy Preece Hodge, Tommy “Tomahawk” Preece, Anna Mae Sartin Wellman and Peggy L. Moore.
Three newcomers that ran were Endicott, Johnny Maynard and Megan Chambers.
The vote totals were as follows: Mayor – Charles Sparks 90, Council Members – Anna Mae Sartin Wellman 97, J.W. Endicott, M.D. 94, Tommy “Tomahawk” Preece 88, Peggy Moore 84, Tammy Preece Hodge 80, Johnny Maynard 54 and Megan Chambers 31.
Endicott, who was a member of the 1975 Kermit High School Blue Devils state championship basketball squad, went to medical school and came back to his hometown to practice.
“I am honored that the citizens of Kermit gave me a vote of confidence and elected me as a new council member. This is our hometown where my wife Elaine and I raised our two children,” Endicott stated. “It means a lot to us to see Kermit prosper. They can count on me to work hard and to do my very best. Our state and every small town in W. Va. are facing huge challenges. I look forward to working with Mayor Sparks and our incumbent town council members to face those challenges head on and help make Kermit a better place to live for all of us. The citizens and youth of our small town deserve our best effort.”
Tammy Preece-Hodge, comes from a long line of political leaders from the Kermit area.
“I’m humbled that the residents have enough faith in me to reelect me for four more years to the town council. I am looking forward to continuing to serve the people and hopefully work with other agencies to bring economic growth to our municipality, despite the dire straits our entire region is in. We have an excellent governing body within the town that truly have the town and its peoples best interest at heart, and will continue to work together to make good decisions for Kermit,” Hodge said.
“I’m thankful to have had great public servants as role models in my upbringing, as my grandmother, Callie Preece was Kermit’s only woman mayor, and served as committeewoman from the Kermit District, my father John Preece served as mayor and my uncle Wallace Miller served several terms as mayor and a member of the council. They loved Kermit and that love and concern did not go unnoticed.”
Sartin-Wellman, a longtime council member and civic leader in Kermit, had this to say. “I thank and appreciate all who supported and voted for me. The town folks have entrusted me in serving for 18 years, 16 on the council, two years as the elected recorder – and now four more to serve. It has been a pleasure, and I have served with good council members and also good mayors. I’m looking forward to serving with our newest member Dr. Endicott. I’m hoping for some more good years in Kermit and blessings to all.”
Mayor Sparks said, “Everything went real good and it was a smooth election. I’m proud of everyone that ran. We’ll try our best to keep up the hard work.”
Sparks wanted to remind everyone that the Town of Kermit will be having their annual fireworks on Sunday, July 3, 2016 at dark. Watermelon and popsicles will be provided free of charge. “Everyone bring your blankets and lawn chairs and witness one of the best 4th of July fireworks shows around at the Kermit Park.”
(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.)