By CHAD ABSHIRE
(EDITOR’S NOTE: The following percentages and totals in this article were all as of presstime and from unofficial results.)
The entirety of West Virginia spoke out last night and residents from all over exercised their right to vote.
Some races were closer than others and a few results might not have surprised anyone, but the popularity, or lack thereof for President Barack Obama shone through.
How unpopular is Obama? Enough that a man in prison in Texas is got more than 40 perecent of the votes in that race.
Keith Judd, Inmate No. 11593-051 at the Beaumont Federal Correctional Institution in Texas, managed to snag, as of presstime, 42 percent of the votes in the state West Virginia, the only state that allowed him on the ballot.
Judd is serving a 210-month sentence for threats he made at the University of New Mexico in 1999 and is eligible for release next June.
The president’s unpopularity was very high during the election, with local polls showing Judd winning handily.
In Mingo County, Judd walked away with 2689 votes in total compared to Obama’s 1641 , around 62 percent of the vote.
Neighboring Logan County felt the same way, where Judd claimed 55 percent of the votes.
Judd was able to get on the state ballot by paying a $2,500 fee and filing a form known as a notarized certification of announcement, said Jake Glance, a spokesman for the Secretary of State’s office.
Attracting at least 15 percent of the vote would normally qualify a candidate for a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. But state Democratic Party Executive Director Derek Scarbro said no one has filed to be a delegate for Judd. The state party also believes that Judd has failed to file paperwork required of presidential candidates, but officials continue to research the matter, Scarbro said.
For the GOP Presidential Primary, Mitt Romney claimed 269 votes in Mingo County out of 388, 69 percent. Second place went to Rick Santorum who has already dropped out with 47 votes. At the state level, it ran the same way: Romney taking 69 percent and Santorum taking second place.
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin won in a major away in his primary against Sheirl Fletcher. In Mingo County, he came away 5,248 votes out of 5685, 92 percent. Statewide, Manchin received over 75,000 votes, 80 percent.
“I want to thank all of the volunteers, supporters and people of this great state who continue to give me the opportunity to serve them. I am truly honored and humbled by your confidence,” Manchin said in a statement after winning. “I will continue to work hard to stop the political bickering and bring Democrats, Independents and Republicans together so we can put our country first and do what is right for the next generation…”
Manchin will face John R. Raese in November, who won the Republican primary.
The battle for the position of governor will be a repeat of last year, with Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin claiming 95 percent of the vote in Mingo over Arne Moltis. Republican Bill Maloney took 81 percent over Ralph William Clark. Statwide, Tomblin took 85 percent and Maloney, 82 percent.
Facing against Democrat Nick Rahall in November for the House of Representatives 3rd district will be Republican Rick Snuffer, who took 54 percent of the vote statewide, but lost in Mingo County, where local voters had chosen Lee A. Bias to face Rahall.
Representing the Democratic Party for a position as justice on the Supreme Court will be Letitia “Tish” Chafin, with nearly 40 percent of the vote in Mingo and 25.6 percent statewide and Robin Jean Davis, who had almost 28 percent in Mingo, 25.9 percent statewide.
Other races that will play out in November are as follows:
• Democrat Natalie E. Tennant will face Republican Brian Savilla for Secretary of State;
• Glen B. Ganier III, Democrat, will face Larry V. Faircloth, Republican for the position of auditor;
• John D. Perdue, Democrat, will face Republican Mike Hall for Treasurer;
• Walt Helmick beat out Sally Shepherd, both Democrat - 35 percent to 21 - to run for Commisioner of Agriculture;
• Darrell V. McGraw, Democrat, will face Patrick Morrisey, Republican, for Attorney General;
• Sue Thorn, Democrat, squares off against David B. McKinley for U.S. House of Representatives, District 1;
• William McCann, Democrat, will run against Shelley Moore Capito, Republican, for U.S. House of Representatives, District 2.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.