KEYSER - As the filing period nears its end today, two additional people have declared their candidacy for the Mineral County Board of Education, while the race for county commission stands at three.

By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - As the filing period nears its end today, two additional people have declared their candidacy for the Mineral County Board of Education, while the race for county commission stands at three.
With three seats coming open on the board of education - one of which will be filled by an appointee to be named within the next few weeks - interest in serving on the board that oversees the operation of the county’s school system seems to be at its highest in several years.
According to Mineral County clerk Lauren Ellifritz, Terry G. Puffinburger and Nicholas “Nic” James have added their names to the ballot for the board.
The seats coming open this year are those currently occupied by vice president Lara Courrier, William Ludwick and Kevin Watson, who resigned from his position last week.
No more than two board members may represent a single district and they must represent the district in which they live.
Currently, District 1 is represented by Rob Woy and District 2 is represented by Tom Denne. Neither of their seats come open this year. Watson was the lone representative of District 3.
Former board member William “Butch” Wahl has been joined in the District 1 race by Puffinburger.
In District 2, incumbent Lara Courrier is making a bid for re-election and will be facing off against Collin Rhodes and Daniel Radko.
In District 3, Seth Sgaggero, Jessica Imes, Mary Jane Baniak and Nic James have filed to run.
The board of education is a non-partisan board, and voters will decide their fates during the primary election.
According to county clerk Lauren Ellifritz, there are still only persons who have filed to run for the single seat coming open on the county commission, which is currently held by Republican Jerry Whisner.
Whisner has filed to run for re-election, and will be on the primary ballot with fellow Republicans Troy Kesner and Dan Stemple.
Whisner is currently in the last year of his first six-year term and is serving his first year as president of the commission.
On the state level, Republican incumbent Sen. Dave Sypolt of Kingwood has filed for re-election in District 14, and Democrat Stephanie Zucker of Morgantown will also make a bid for the position.
In District 15, incumbent Sen. Charles Trump of Berkeley Springs is thus far the only one who has filed to run.
For the House of Delegates, Republican John Paul Hott II of Petersburg and Republican Keith Funkhouser of New Creek have filed to run for the District 54 seat currently held by Allen Evans.
Incumbent Republican Del. Gary Howell of Keyser has filed to run for re-election to District 56, and will be challenged in the primary election by fellow Republicans Luke McKenzie of Keyser and Charles Von Hagel of Burlington, while Democrats Timothy Ryan and Will Skehan, both of Ridgeley, will vie for the right to move on to the November election.
Incumbent Republican Del. Ruth Rowan of Points has filed to run for re-election in District 57 and is so far unopposed.
Candidates have through today to file papers. Although the county clerk’s office will be closed, papers postmarked on Jan. 27 will be accepted.