Ford wins ninth term

PARKERSBURG – Jean Ford didn’t spend a lot of time on the campaign trail in securing her ninth term as mayor of Williamstown.

“I didn’t really do anything, just put some signs up and told people I’d like for them … to vote for me to continue our relationship,” Ford said at the Wood County Courthouse, moments after the final, unofficial results appeared on a projector, confirming her victory Tuesday night.

Ford received 585 votes in the three-way race for mayor, followed by Loren Cullum with 233 and David Ward with 16.

“It really feels wonderful this time,” said Ford, the owner of Mel’s Diamond House in Vienna.

Having faced opposition only a couple times in prior races, Ford said she felt that if people vote with their hearts, whoever comes out on top is the right person for the job. She said she appreciates the city’s family atmosphere and looks forward to continuing projects the city government has been working on, including selection of a site for a new elementary school and construction of a roundabout at West Virginia 31 and 14.

“Williamstown puts God first, family second, and then we govern,” Ford said.

Cullum, owner of Carwrex Collision Center in Williamstown, said that although he was disappointed in the outcome, he felt like he did well in his first try.

“We gave her a good run for her money,” he said. “I’d say I did pretty good for a first-time run.”

Cullum said the foundation he laid this time might serve him well in a future race, though he declined to say whether he might run again in 2016.

Ward, who ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2006 and council in 2010, declined to comment.

Ford is staying in city government along with a pair of longtime council members – Ron Erb and Marty Seufer – who were unopposed in this year’s election. Both said they were pleased to continue to serve with Ford.

“I’m looking forward to continuing to work with the same people I’ve been working with,” said Seufer, who has been a member of council for 25 years.

Erb, who was elected in 2000, said he was happy to see the turnout for the city, with more than 800 votes cast in the mayoral race.

“That’s a pretty good number for Williamstown voting,” he said. “I want to see the people get out there and at least vote, and if you vote, maybe try and be a part of it a little bit.”

Council members serve four-year terms, while the mayor is elected for two years.