State, county candidates can file starting Monday; here's what's coming open

Liz Beavers
Mineral Daily News-Tribune
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KEYSER - The filing period opens on Monday, Jan. 10, for those wishing to run for office in the 2022 election.

In West Virginia, voters will be casting their ballots for U.S. House of Representatives, state Senate and House of Delegates, and will find themselves faced with some changes in those races thanks to a realignment of the districts due to population changes reported in the 2020 Census.

“We’re all one Senate district now,” county clerk Lauren Ellifritz explained. “We were two districts, but now we’re one. And we were three House of Delegates districts, and now we’re two.”

In Mineral County, voters will be casting ballots for county clerk, circuit clerk, one seat on the county commission, and three seats on the board of education, in addition to members of the party executive committees.

According to county clerk Lauren Ellifritz, voters should see only small changes in those positions and the districts they represent.

“We worked on it to balance out the magisterial districts,” she explained, noting that could possibly affect the races for county commission or board of education, as each seat represents a specific magisterial district.

It all depends on where the potential candidate lives and which district he or she falls into.

In addition, the seats coming open on the non-partisan board of education will be decided in the May 10 primary election, while all partisan positions will proceed to the general election on Nov. 8.

The positions on the board coming open this year are those currently held by president Lara Courrier, vice president Mary Jane Baniak and Terry Puffinburger.

No more than two can be elected from any one district. Currently, Courrier and Tom Denne represent the same district (Denne’s term is not up until 2024), Baniak and Puffinburger represent the same district, and Donnie Ashby, whose term also ends in 2024, is the lone representative from his district.

Board members serve four-year terms.

The seat coming open on the county commission is currently held by president Richard Lechliter and anyone wishing to run for that position must be from his district in the Frankfort area.

County commissioners, county clerks and circuit clerks serve six-year terms.

Those wishing to run for any of the statewide positions must file candidacy papers with the West Virginia Secretary of State; those wishing to run for county-level office may file with the Mineral County clerk.

Filing fees are as follows:

U.S. House of Representatives: $1,740

State Senator: $200

House of Delegates: $100

County clerk: $598.75

County commission: $399.17

Circuit clerk: $598.75

Board of education: $25

The filing period ends on Saturday, Jan. 29.

For further information on the county or state elections, call the secretary of state’s office at 304-558-8000 or the county clerk at 304-788-3924 or visit www.sos.wv.gov.

Liz Beavers is a veteran writer and managing editor of the Mineral Daily News Tribune. To reach out to her with a story idea, email lbeavers@newstribune.info.