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Reynolds, Stephens, Chaffin win in local legislative races

May. 09, 2012 @ 01:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Democrats nominated Dale Stephens, Doug Reynolds and political newcomer Billy Chaffin in separate, contested races to represent two local districts in the West Virginia House of Delegates, according to unofficial primary election results Tuesday night.

Stephens and Reynolds, both incumbents, defeated challenger Robert Alexander in the race for District 17. Stephens received 2,255 votes, followed by Reynolds with 2,194. Alexander trailed with 798.

Chaffin collected 678 votes to set up a November challenge against Republican incumbent Kelli Sobonya in District 18. He celebrated the victory Tuesday night, all while looking on to his next contest. He has supported merit pay for teachers with better evaluations, along with more funding for vocational education, prison construction and drug treatment.

"I'm just ecstatic about it," he said. "Very happy. The work I did paid off."

Chaffin defeated his closet competitor, Portia Warner, by 229 votes. She collected 449 votes, as fellow challenger Joe Hutchinson trailed with 414.

Districts 17 and 18 are the product of this year's redistricting. The area formerly was recognized as a single district.

Stephens and Reynolds will now face GOP challengers Grant Imes and Michael Ankrom in November. Both Republicans were uncontested Tuesday.

Districts 16 and 19 also featured uncontested contests Tuesday night, as did State Senate District 5.

In District 16, that means Democratic challengers Jim Morgan and Kevin J. Craig, along with Democratic challenger Sean Horbuckle advance to face Republican incumbent Carol Miller and challenger Mike Davis in November's general election.

In District 19, Democratic incumbents Don C. Perdue and Rick Thompson will face Republican challenger Randy Tomblin.

State Sen. Robert H. "Bob" Plymale, D-Wayne, was uncontested in Tuesday's race for Senate District 5, as he will be in the November's general election.