AND THEN AGAIN…….by Tamara Pettit

…….The “race is on!”  Filings for the 2022 election is over and we’re looking at some pretty interesting races.  Saw a local paper do a story about women candidates,) competing for the 3rd District House of Delegates seat and two women vying for the Republican State Senate nomination.  Really? Haven’t we moved beyond where four candidates being women is such a phenomenon as to merit writing about it? How about if you are just a candidate and gender has nothing to do with it?  Is it reverse discrimination that the two gentlemen vying for the Democratic nomination for the 1st District State Senate seat failed to get any column inches due to their gender?

………We invite all candidates to send us their photo and their announcements and we’ll feature them.   Our readers deserve to know a little more about their candidates then their name, party and address.  Facebook has become a pretty popular campaign tool and campaigns are looking to drive voters to their Facebook page.  We’re featuring block ads in HOMETOWN NEWS with a link to the candidates’ Facebook pages which will do just that. 

……..Politics has always been a family affair in West Virginia and this year we have two local candidates with  spouses who already hold elective office.  Democratic candidate for the 1st District House of Delegate’s seat Jack Wood’s wife, Heather Wood,  is a Family Law Judge.  Jack Wood, an attorney, will face Republican Pat McGeehan, an incumbent, in the General Election.  The Hancock County Circuit Court Race will be decided in the Primary where Republican Sandy Casto, who has worked in the Circuit Clerk’s office for 30 year and was recently appointed to the position upon the death of Circuit Clerk Chuck Wright, will face Republican Frederick John Morello, Jr., the husband of current County Commissioner Eron Chek.

,…..In a day and age where each spouse should have his/her own identity,  two spouses in elective office shouldn’t be a problem in theory as long as there is no conflict.  And, in both Wood and Maloney’s case their spouses aren’t on the ballot in the same election year.  In reality, however,  some voters resent too many members of one family getting their paycheck from the taxpayers.  I speak from experience.  Not only did we have two people from my family on the ballot, we had them on both the Democratic and Republican ticket, and yet we had a pretty good track record of wins.  Dad, John D. Herron, was elected in the midst of World War II while serving in the Navy.  He came home to claim the Justice of the Peace  position and would continue to be re-elected for 36 years.  He was elected before I was born, but died six months before I was appointed to the Legislature.   During his 36 years, however, his son-in-law, Bill Webster,  would run on the Democratic ticket and get elected for 12 years as Clay District Constable and four years as Hancock County Sheriff.   Even though Dad was a Republican, his election cards often showed up in Democratic cards as was a sample ballot with his name checked.   Party lines back then sometimes relaxed and the individuals running seemed to matter more than the label of R and D.

…….Always the pragmatist,  I thought I gave my step-brother Mike Swartzmiller some pretty sage advice when he ran for County Commissioner.   “If they ask if you’re related me, say ‘why do you ask?”   If the answer indicates I am not their favorite person, say you’re not.”

…….If you don’t know who Evan Jenkins is, I predict you will hear a lot about him in the near future.   Chief Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court Evan Jenkins  resigned as of  today (January 6.)   Why would anyone resign from a position on the highest court in the State?.   I think Jenkins is positioning himself to challenge Joe Manchin for the U S Senate Seat in 2024, or perhaps a run for Governor.  Jenkins is a Republican who changed his registration to Democrat to run for the House of Delegates in 1994.  He then served in the House of Delegates and State Senate and then morphed into a Republican again to defeat  Congressman Nick Jo Rahall who had held the seat since 1977.      Jenkins then set his cap for the U S Senate seat held by Joe Manchin four years ago only to be defeated in the primary by Attorney General Patrick Morrisey who was defeated in the General Election by Manchin.

……..About changing parties.  Obviously our Governor, Jim Justice, did it and was re-elected, but he rode the Trump train thar roared through West Virginia.  One has to wonder, however, how often you can change your party affiliation before you it becomes apparent  your current party is not the party of your convictions, but of convenience.    I know you’re supposed to cast your vote for the candidate not the party, but I really wonder if some of the candidates, like Jenkins, have defined exactly who they are and what stand for prior to taking the leap.

…….I was saddened by the death of Justice Edwin Flowers, a former New Manchester resident.  It was as if a shining light in West Virginia went out.  Edwin accomplished a great deal in his 91 years.  He began his journey on  in Pughtown (before it was fancied up to be New Manchester) and his practice of law in the Phillips building in New Cumberland.  He was a neighbor living only two houses from ours and was instrumental in creating a public service district in the unincorporated area and was able to negotiate a low interest loans to bring us water.   Although he went on to serve as Welfare Commissioner , Justice of the WV  Supreme Court,  Federal Bankruptcy Judge and   Vice President of Institutional Advancement for WVU,  he never lost touch with his hometown.    He was a subscriber to Hometown News and called or e-mailed frequently to provide insight or information on columns.   The last time I met him for coffee he regaled me with stories of his early days as New Cumberland City Solicitor.  For those who may want to learn more about his role in West Virginia’s history, there is a website    His funeral service will be held at the New Manchester Christian Church at 1:00 p.m., February 22.