By Sarah Richardson
The Primary Election was held on an unusual day this year due to coronavirus, but that didn’t deter voters from coming out to the polls to make their voices heard. Held for the first time ever on June 9, Election Day was slower than usual at the Greenbrier County Courthouse thanks to a large number of voters choosing to use absentee ballots and mail-in ballots. However, while there were less people voting in person, overall voting numbers remained strong.
“We have received over 4,400 absentee ballots and 955 early voters,” said County Clerk Robin Loudermilk, “Any ballots that are postmarked by June 9 will be counted at the canvass on Monday, June 15.”
“None of the races were that close,” said Loudermilk, so the results are unlikely to change after the canvass.
These numbers are consistent with previous elections – Loudermilk noted that the 2016 Primary had slightly over 10,000 votes, and 9,479 were submitted this year in total. The overall voter turnout was 41.42 percent of all registered voters.
Several local positions were determined at the primary, including three local magistrate judge seats and two Greenbrier County Board of Education seats.
One of the larger races in the county was the run for the Republican nomination on the November ballot for the Greenbrier County Commission. Girlonza G. Scott attempted to unseat current Commission President Lowell Rose for Republican nomination, citing disagreements over the location of the Greenbrier County Sportsplex and the commission’s role on the Greenbrier Valley Airport Authority.
Lowell nabbed the Republican nomination with 62.11 percent of the vote. In November, Lowell will be on the ballot against Democratic nominee Dan Withrow, who ran unopposed.
“I would like to thank everyone for their support and help during the election,” said Lowell. “The general election is only five months away, and we can take a couple of months to rest and then it starts again.”
Tim Stover, former Chief of Police with the City of Lewisburg, won the Division 1 magistrate seat against Martha Fleshman, James Childers, and Todd Williams with nearly 3,000 votes.
“I want to thank everyone who supported me in my successful bid to become a Greenbrier County Magistrate,” Stover said. “I appreciate your votes, allowing me to place signs on your property, financial donations, and kind words of encouragement.”
He added, “I would also like to thank the other candidates in my race, Martha Fleshman, Todd Williams, and Jim Childers for conducting a civil campaign.”
Kimberly Johnson continues to hold the Division 2 magistrate seat, and Kirby Hanson remains Division 3 magistrate. Both ran unopposed.
Incumbent Mary Crickenberger Humphreys will keep her seat on the Board of Education after receiving 5,217 votes. She will be joined by Richard Parker, who totaled 3,554 votes.
For the Greenbrier County Sheriff’s position, current Sheriff Bruce Sloan will be on the November ticket against former magistrate court judge Charles “Doug” Beard.
For the two 42nd District House of Delegate positions, incumbent democrats Cindy Lavender-Bowe and Jeff Campbell will be running against republican nominees Todd Longanacre and Barry Bruce.
For Governor, incumbent Jim Justice will be challenged by Ben Salango in November.