Several candidates have already thrown their hats in the ring for next year’s primary election that comes up on Tuesday, May 10. Candidates can file pre-candidacy paper work in an effort to fund raise and get a start on next year’s election.
Candidates cannot officially file until the filing period which runs from Monday, January 11 to Saturday, January 30, 2016.
The office of Sheriff of Mingo County could be interesting. Incumbent James Smith of Kermit is being challenged by Williamson Police Chief Barry Blair and Delbarton Police Chief Earl Spence.
For County Clerk, longtime office holder “Big” Jim Hatfield is being challenged by Larry “Yogi” Croaff of Edgarton, who is a court bailiff in the Mingo County courthouse.
For the office of Circuit Clerk, three people have already filed. Those three include William “Billy” Sammons of Delbarton, Lonnie D. Hannah of Delbarton and Brandy Haney of Delbarton. Sammons and Haney are newcomers to the political scene, while Hannah is a former sheriff and unsuccessful candidate for Mingo County Commission. Incumbent Grant Preece is retiring and chose not to run.
Six people have pre-filed for magistrate. Those include incumbent Jim Harvey of Chattaroy, Barry Marcum of Williamson and Ricky Brock Mounts of Gilbert, who are both serving as local judges after being appointed to fill the terms of Dee Sidebottom and Pam Newsome who both retired.
The others who have filed for magistrate are Donald Sansom of Matewan, Floyd Scott Smith of Kermit and Donald Roy Stevens of Lenore.
Incumbent prosecuting attorney Teresa Maynard of Williamson has also filed her pre-candidacy papers.
Nathan Hatfield of Lenore filed for Mingo County Board of Education, while Michele Lynn Webb of Williamson has filed as “undeclared pre-candidacy.”
On the state level, incumbent House of Delegate member Justin Marcum of Williamson has filed and Brandon Barker of Chattaroy is organizing a run for state senate. Barker is a newcomer to politics.
There will be several more candidates who will file after the first of the year for many local and state offices.
Those who want to file in January may do so by going to the County Clerk’s office during business hours. However, they mail their certificate of announcement along with their filing fee to the local clerk’s office in the courthouse. The address to mail election paperwork is P.O. Box 1197, Williamson, W.Va., 25661.
Announcements, along with the filing fee, must be postmarked no later than 12 midnight on January 30. Potential candidates may call the County Clerk’s office for a list of filing fees at 304-235-0330.
Next year will be a huge election for both the state and the nation. West Virginians will nominate candidates to run for governor in May and those candidates will face off on Tuesday, November 8 in the General Election. In 2016 citizens of the United States will also elect a new president.
Information on statewide elections can be found on the Secretary of State’s web page at http://www.sos.wv.gov. There is also a complete list of offices on the national, state and local levels that will be decided on this web site.
(Information for this article was provided by the Mingo County Clerks office.)
(Kyle Lovern is the Managing Editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)