Familiar faces to fight for 10th District

PARKERSBURG – The race for the House of Delegates 10th District will see some familiar names and some different faces.

Each party nominated three candidates to run in the November general election.

Republican Mike Azinger, the son of retiring Delegate Tom Azinger, led the Republican ticket with 2,068 votes. Former Delegate and state Senator Frank Deem was second with 1,792. Parkersburg City Councilman John Kelly came in third with 1,443 votes.

”It feels great,” Azinger said. ”It has been fun to be able to follow my dad. I am proud of my dad.

”We are going to work as hard in the general election that we did in the primary, knocking on doors and doing the grassroots work. We are going to raise money and put on a first-class, pedal-to-the-metal-campaign.”

Azinger is not taking his lead throughout the night in stride.

”I have seen first place people come out of the primary and lose,” he said. ”I am taking nothing for granted. I am going to work like crazy and I plan on winning in the fall and I am grateful to everyone who came out and voted.”

Deem could not be reached for comment Tuesday evening.

Kelly would have liked to have fared better but he is not complaining.

”I would have liked to have been Number 1 or Number 2, but I am happy with Number 3,” he said. ”We put a lot of work in this.”

Kelly was thankful to his family, friends and supporters who voted for him.

”It is time to get geared up for November,” he said.

Kelly plans to go door to door, do advertising and more.

”A third place finish in the primary just means I have to work a little harder in the general,” he said. ”I am prepared to do that.”

The other Republican candidates were Vernon Criss (1,259), Debra L. Steed (927) and Courtney Lynne Ahlborn (694).

Early this year, incumbents Tom Azinger and John Ellem announced they would not seek another term in the House.

The only remaining incumbent Democrat Dan Poling led the Democratic ticket with 2,093 votes followed by Paul E. Miller with 1,258. Don Stansberry, who the Wood County Democratic Party Executive Committee in February said would fill the vacancy for the third ballot position in the general election, was not on the primary election ballot Tuesday.

The six candidates will be vying for three House seats from District 10 in November.

Poling said he was happy with the turnout and was thankful for the support he has received.

”Now it is time to really campaign,” he said. ”We start (today).

”We will get out and talk with people and be visible. We have always had a healthy door-to-door campaign, talking with people and learning what their concerns are,” Poling said.

Republican officials have said they are serious about taking all three seats in the 10th District.

Poling said Democrats would like that, too. It is how politics works.

”I stand on my record,” he said. ”People see I have been responsive to them. I think that will pay off.”

Poling said his priorities are looking at the state tax structure to be able to handle the needs of the state as well as looking at the line-item veto the governor has, which Poling said adversely affected state agencies and other groups that receive funding for health services and senior services.

”It is time to look at that,” he said.

Miller was thankful for his supporters.

”I appreciate their vote for my candidacy to promote small business development, create good paying jobs with benefits, and restore effective and responsive state government,” he said. ”I’m honored by the decisions of the private citizens who’ve chosen me with their votes over the last week to continue on in this election.

”November general elections are less about political parties and more about the individual candidates themselves,” Miller said.

Miller said he is hopeful voters will look at the best person for the job, rather than just their political or special interest affiliation.

”I look forward to running a positive and ethical political campaign heading into the fall elections,” he said.

Races in the 8th and 9th House Districts and the 3rd Senate District only have one candidate from both the Republican and Democratic parties for the primary with the candidates set to face each other in the November general election.

In the 8th District, incumbent Republican Bill Anderson of Williamstown (1,160 votes in the primary) will face Democrat Denzil “Buddy” Malone of Williamstown (710) in November.

In the 9th District, incumbent Republican Anna Border-Sheppard of Davisville (727) will face Democrat Jim Marion of Mineral Wells (445).

In the 3rd Senate District, incumbent Republican David Nohe of Vienna (4,747) will face Democrat Robert “Robin” Wilson Jr. of Spencer (2,728).