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HUNTINGTON — Tuesday’s primary election left two Democratic candidates for the 3rd Congressional District in West Virginia so close to one another that neither has yet been declared the winner.

Candidates Lacy Watson and Hilary Turner faced off against one another and two other candidates for the Democratic nomination Tuesday. While other candidates dominated their respective races, Watson and Turner remained so close to each other that a clear winner could not be determined.

As of press time Thursday, Watson had gained a minor lead on Turner — 16,308 votes to 15,881 votes. However, much can change with ballots around the state still being counted.

Turner described election night as being an anxious and stressful situation, with her eyes never leaving the secretary of state’s website as the votes kept coming in.

“At first we thought the winner was going to be clear,” said Turner. “But as it went on, it became obvious that it wasn’t the case. There’s already so much anxiety and tension going into that day, and this situation only really added to it. All we can do by this point is wait and see.”

Watson voiced nothing but confidence and has already begun to plan ahead.

“As far as I can see, I’m going to be the declared winner,” said Watson. “So I’m going to be operating from that position. It was a tough race, especially due to COVID-19, but we’re moving forward now.”

Though Turner said that in hindsight, maybe she should have engaged in more phone calls and other voter interaction, she is satisfied and proud of her campaign’s efforts, especially considering the limiting circumstances of the current year.

Should she go on to face incumbent Rep. Carol Miller in the general election, Turner said she intends to engage in as much direct conversation and interaction with her voter base as possible.

“It’s been an extremely challenging and bizarre time, but we’re still happy,” said Turner. “No matter how this goes, we did our best.”

Watson said his campaign adjusted to circumstances as best they could.

“I ran a good race with the resources I had, and I’m very happy with the outcome,” said Watson.

Should he go on to face Miller, Watson said he would be eager to set up a face-to-face meeting with the Republican candidate where they could discuss issues and voice their stances and ideas for the future of West Virginia.

“I just want to speak to the people directly and present my ideas to the working class,” said Watson. “I want to compare and contrast my thoughts with that of Miller’s, and see which is going to benefit the average man and woman the most.”

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