Stowers’ replacement candidates forwarded to governor

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HAMLIN — Danville’s Town Manager emerged as the consensus choice to replace former Delegate Josh Stowers in the West Virginia legislature after a Democrat executive committee meeting Thursday evening.

Town Manager Josh Barker received the endorsement of all eight members of the Twenty-second Delegate District Executive Committee in balloting held at the Lincoln County courthouse in Hamlin. Lincoln School Board member Gary McCallister placed second, with seven ballots; and attorney Wendy Elswick was third, with four votes.

Also placing themselves in nomination for the post left vacant when Stowers resigned to take a job in the state treasurer’s office on July 15 were Harts businessman Chris Fleming and Chapmanville teacher Gloria Triplett.

The meeting was convened by Lincoln County Democrat Chair Tracy Dempsey. Each of the five candidates, who were permitted to “self-nominate” themselves were given three minutes to speak. Then, the balloting took place. Four of the five candidates pledged to support the Democrat party platforms, both at the state and national level. Only Triplett refused to say whether she held that position as well.

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin now must choose Stowers’s replacement from the list of three names. He will have five days from the time he officially receives the nominations to select the replacement.

Members of the committee were: Rachel and Keith Stephens from Boone County; Jerri Lynn Sigmon and James J. Freeman from Logan; Dan Cook and Imogene Burdette from Putnam; and LaTonya Stowers and Ed Triplett from Lincoln.

— Ron Gregory can be reached at ronjgregory@gmail.com


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