The filing period is only a week old and things are already getting interesting here in Mingo County.
Ronnie Blankenship and Vivian Livingood have filed to run for the House of Delegates seats that include parts of Mingo County.
Blankenship, a businessman who resides in the Lenore area, will apparently run against incumbent Justin Marcum in the Democratic Primary in May. This will be for District 20. Livingood, who is the Mayor of Gilbert, will run against Phyllis White. White was just appointed to the 21st District seat vacated by her husband Harry Keith White, who recently resigned to take a job in the private sector.
Both of these races should be quite interesting as the candidates hit the campaign trail. Marcum and White are currently in Charleston as the 2016 Legislative session began on Wednesday.
Miki Thompson of Williamson, who currently serves as Mingo County’s lone circuit judge, has filed for that position. She filed at the Secretary of State’s office on Tuesday. The judge’s seat is now non-partisan, similar to the board of education races.
Incumbent Mark Maynard, the Republican Senator for District Six from Wayne County in nearby Dunlow, will probably not have any party opposition in the Primary Election. However newcomer Brandon Barker of Chattaroy will be running on the Democratic side of the ticket in May. If he doesn’t face any opposition in May, then he and Maynard could square off in November.
For the U.S. House of Representatives, Republican incumbent Evan Jenkins is the only one to file at this point in time. Jenkins upset longtime congressman Nick Joe Rahall in the last General Election and is a staunch opponent of President Barack Obama and his “war on coal.”
In the Governor’s race in the Mountain State, so far three candidates have filed. They are Republican Bill Cole of Bluefield, and Democrats Jim Justice of Lewisburg and Booth Goodwin of Charleston.
There will be several local races of interest here in Mingo County. Those seats up for grabs are County Clerk, Circuit Clerk, Sheriff, one County Commissioner and three Magistrates.
Those who want to file for local offices may do so by going to the County Clerk’s office during business hours. They may also 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.
To file for state offices the candidates need to contact the Secretary of State’s office in Charleston.
This should be an interesting election on the national, state and local levels. Let the races begin.
(Kyle Lovern is the Editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern)