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Incumbents rule in W.Va. House

Nov. 07, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON — Incumbents ruled the night Tuesday in local races for West Virginia’s House of Delegates, according to unofficial returns.

The closest race of the event concerned District 16, which featured incumbents Kevin J. Craig, Carol Miller and Jim Morgan holding off a challenge from Democratic challenger Sean Hornbuckle.

Craig collected 8,771 votes, 23 percent, in leading the district, which covers portions of Cabell and Lincoln counties. Miller finished second with 8,325 votes, followed by Morgan with 7,962 votes.

The finish sends Miller to her fourth term in Charleston. She trailed Hornbuckle early in the evening, but credited precincts in rural Cabell and Lincoln counties with pushing her over the top. She praised Hornbuckle as a bright, young man for whom she had the utmost respect.

“I’m thrilled,” she said. “I love what I do. I’m very honored to be a public servant.”

Hornbuckle came in fourth with 7,252 votes. Republican challenger Mike Davis finished last with 5,948 votes.

In District 17, Democratic incumbents Dale Stephens and Doug Reynolds claimed victory finishing ahead of Republican challengers Michael Ankrom and Joyce Holland. Their district covers portions of Cabell and Wayne counties.

Stephens collected 10,479 votes, 41 percent, to lead all candidates. Reynolds came in second with 7,109 votes. Ankrom followed in defeat with 4,437 votes with Holland trailing further with 3,570 votes.

Republican incumbent Kelli Sobonya captured 4,580 votes, 69 percent, defeating Billy Chaffin to represent Cabell County’s newly formed District 18. Chaffin received 2,020 votes in defeat.

In District 19, House Speaker Rick Thompson and fellow Democratic incumbent Don Perdue defeated their Republican challenger Randy Tomblin. The district covers the majority of Wayne County.

Thompson led with 7,625 votes, 41 percent. Perdue followed with 6,806 votes. Tomblin trailed in defeat with 4,318 votes.

Elsewhere, Democratic incumbent Brady R. Paxton and Republican challenger Scott Cadle were leading in a race for District 13 with 94 percent of precincts reporting.

Paxton had 6,196 votes, followed by Cadle with 5,834 votes. Their district covers portions of western Mason and northern Putnam counties. Republican challenger Brian “Scotty” Scott and Democratic incumbent Helen Martin were trailing with 5,520 votes and 4,742 respectively.

In District 14, Republican Jim Butler claimed victory with 3,351 votes. His Democratic challenger Jimmie Wood trailed with 2,808 votes. The district covers southwestern Mason and northwestern Putnam counties.

The Associated Press had projected Josh Stowers and fellow Democrat Jeff Eldridge as winning in District 22. Both were leading with 83 percent of precincts reporting.

Stowers had collected 5,526 votes, followed by Eldridge with 4,815 votes. Republicans Michel G. Moffatt and Gary L. Johngrass were trailing with 3,674 votes and 2,987 votes respectively.

District 22 covers portions of Putnam, Lincoln, Logan and Boone counties.

Republican incumbent Troy Andes ran uncontested race for District 15 in Putnam County.