(EDITOR’S NOTE: The following percentages and totals in this article were all as of presstime and from unofficial results.)
LOGAN – Voters in Logan County nominated an experienced female deputy for sheriff.
Dramas also consisted in the race for magistrate and in the board of education race as the final votes were counted following Tuesday’s Primary Election.
Democratic sheriff’s candidate Sonya Dingess Porter, a third generation law enforcement officer, defeated former House of Delegate member Ralph Rodighiero 2, 871 to 2,351.
Several other candidates in the sheriff’s race picked up strong support including Charlie Walls who received 1,079 votes, Elbert Vance got 487 and George Mathis had 338 votes.
“It feels great, but it has been nerve racking,” Porter said. Her grandfather Vernon Dingess served as Logan County’s sheriff from 1977 to 1984 and her father Kent Dingess is a retired deputy and served 19 years. Porter has been the chief field deputy for the last year and a half and has 19 years of experience.
“I have a legacy and will follow in his footsteps,“ Porter said of her grandfather. “I’m very grateful for all of the dedication and support I received from the voters that came out. It means a lot to me, my family. I knew it would be a tough race. Ralph is a popular candidate.”
Incumbent magistrate Jeff Lane narrowly defeated challenger Joe Mendez by 71 votes. Lane totaled 3,181 to the 3,110 that Mendez got. Incumbents Leonard Codispoti and Dwight Williamson finished first and second in the magistrates race with 4,576 and 4,011 respectively. Three magistrates are elected.
Early in the vote counting by the County Clerk’s office, with about half of the precincts calculated, Mendez held a slight lead over Lane. However, the incumbent pulled ahead once the final votes were tallied.
Newcomer Jim Frye defeated incumbent Moss Burgess in the board of education race. Frye received 2,524 votes while Burgess totaled 1,972 to finish third. Incumbent Phyllis Adkins easily won reelection with 3,296 votes. Ben White ran a solid race receiving 1,821 votes, Sally Stollings got 1,662, Chris Trent had 917, Noel Napier got 468 and there were eight write-in votes.
In the 24th District House of Delegates race Rupert “Rupie” Phillips and Ted Tomblin were the two top vote getters. Phillips led the way with 2,511 votes, while Tomblin received 2,365 votes. Harry Freeman came in third with 1,373 votes, Larry Rogers got 1,108, former delegate Lidella Wilson Hrutkay received 988 votes, Joe White had 817 votes and Chris Stratton came in with 300 votes.
Incumbent Logan County Commissioner Danny Godby easily defeated challenger George Howes 5,085 to 1,677 votes.
In the race for prosecuting attorney John Bennett beat Joe Spradling 4,696 to 1,752.
Russell Grimmett ran unopposed for the Assessor’s race, but he still received 4,933 votes from his party.
Former county commissioner Art Kirkendoll defeated Sammy Dalton 4,933 to 1,869 in the nomination for state senator in the 7th Senatorial District. Kirkendoll was appointed to fill the term vacated by longtime senator Earl Ray Tomblin, who became governor of West Virginia last year.
In the 20th District House of Delegate race, in which two Logan precincts are joined in with Mingo County, Justin Marcum received 234 votes, while Nathan Brown had 116 votes and Marvin Vernatter came in third with 34 votes. Combined with the Mingo County tallies, Marcum won that nomination.
Two other Logan County precincts are in the district with Lincoln County which makes up the 22nd District. Incumbent Jeff Eldridge received 389 votes, while Josh Stowers came in second with 281 votes, while Bill Bryant was a close third in the two Logan precincts with 246 votes. Two other candidates, Gloria Triplett and Ed Triplett received 145 and 71 votes respectively.
On the republican side of the ticket, in the 20th District House of Delegate race Mike Baisden received eight votes, Phil Amick four and Dr. Diane Shafer two. In the 22nd District Gary Johngrass received 41 votes, while Michel Moffatt got 34 votes. No republicans filed to run in the 24th House of Delegate district.
No republicans filed for any of the county races for sheriff, county commissioner, assessor, magistrate or prosecuting attorney.
Voter turnout was moderate from Logan’s 37 precincts. Out of 20,405 registered democrats, 7,319 cast their ballots. Logan has 2,399 republicans registered and 587 cast ballots for that party. A total of 35 nonpartisan voters turned out to cast their votes.