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Berkeley County voter turnout highest in at least 50 years

Herald-Mail Media

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Voter turnout in last week’s general election in Berkeley County was the highest in at least 50 years, the county’s Chief Deputy of Elections and Voter Registration told the Berkeley County Council on Thursday.

“The turnout for this election was 51,845 votes, that’s 8,200-plus more than any election in the history of Berkeley County,” Darrell Shull told county council members.

Among the 83,469 registered voters that were on the voting rolls in Berkeley County heading into the election, 62.1% voted, Shull said. 


“It was a historic election,” Shull said. It was the first time the turnout percentage topped 60% in this century, he added.

The election results were formally declared official Thursday by Berkeley County Clerk John W. Small Jr. after the Berkeley County Council, convened as the county’s board of canvass, signed off on the tallies.

The board’s canvassing of votes, which began on Monday, did not result in an any changes in the contested races in the election, Shull noted.

With one exception, Republican candidates in Berkeley County won every race on the ballot, according to the official results, which are now on track to be certified on Monday.

Incumbent Del. Jason Barrett, D-Berkeley, received about 58.5% of the vote in the 61st District to defeat Republican Kim Mongan-Saladini, who received about 41.5%.

The closest race for the GOP in Berkeley County was between incumbent state Sen. Patricia Rucker, R-Jefferson/Berkeley and Democrat challenger Pete Dougherty in the 16th District, which is comprised of Jefferson County and half of Berkeley County’s voting precincts, according to the official results.


Rucker received 53.8% of the vote in Berkeley County and 50.2% in Jefferson County, W.Va., to edge Dougherty in both counties in the hotly contested race, according official results from both counties.

Among county races, Nathan Harmon became the first Republican to be elected Berkeley County sheriff in 24 years. Harmon received about 57% of the vote to defeat Democrat incumbent Curtis Keller, who received about 42%. 

The GOP also saw gains in neighboring Jefferson County where businessman Wayne Clark received 50.6% of the vote to edge Democratic incumbent Del. Sammi Brown in the 65th District for the West Virginia House of Delegates.

After canvassing, a 125-vote spread was all that separated Clark and Brown, who received 49.3% of the vote. 

Republicans Tricia Jackson and Steve Stolipher also won two seats on the Jefferson County Commission and the Republican Tom Hansen narrowly defeated Democrat Steve Chapman and three other candidates to be elected as the county’s next sheriff. 

With all 32 precincts of Jefferson County reporting in the sheriff’s race, Hansen received 11,492 votes compared to the 10,990 for Chapman, a 502-vote spread. 

In a brief interview, Clark said Tuesday that he is particularly thankful for his “three biggest supporters” — his wife; Lala Mooney, mother of U.S. Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va.; and former Republican Del. Jill Upson, who was defeated by Brown two years ago. Members of the 100-member House of Delegates are elected to two-year terms. 

After the first day of canvassing Monday, Brown thanked her supporters in a video post on Facebook.

“We want to see this through because it’s incredibly important for our process, for democracy, whether it’s in Jefferson County or across the country, that all ballots are counted,” Brown said.