Tebay stays in race, will face Dunn

PARKERSBURG – Bob Tebay will remain the Republican nominee for the Wood County Commission.

Tebay, who won the primary election last week, ended the speculation Wednesday and said he’ll run in the general election. Tebay had tried to pull out before the primary, but his name remained on the ballot because a deadline passed.

”Since my departure from the race, I’ve had many people share with me their concerns for the future of Wood County,” Tebay said. ”We are on the brink of seeing the greatest economic development and job growth ever known to this county and the state (referring to the proposed ethane cracker facility being planned for Wood County). The energy sector is vital to this development and job growth.”

Despite attempting to withdraw, Tebay won the primary against Republican challengers with 1,626 votes to Roger Brown’s 1,596, Raymond Jones’ 1,057 and Sam Baker’s 819, according to the canvassed tally of the May 13 returns.

Early in the primary season Tebay experienced a health set-back that left him with the temporary inability to drive, speak and have the energy needed to campaign in the “right” way, he said in a statement issued Wednesday. At the time, Tebay said he thought it was best to withdraw.

People feel the commission needs a knowledgeable, experienced and dedicated business person during these times, Tebay said.

”Personal considerations aside, my supporters tell me that despite my temporary health issues, I am still the best candidate to meet these goals,” he said. ”Therefore, at the urging of Wood Countians, both within and out of government, my family, friends, doctors and other office holders, I humbly announce I will remain on the ballot for the November general election.”

Tebay conveyed his respect for Brown, Baker and Jones and their willingness to serve.

”However, I strongly believe that the public’s choice for county commission in 2014 may be the difference between enjoying a boom or wasting it away,” Tebay said. ”And I believe, even with health issues that I am the best positioned candidate to face my Democratic opponent.”

Tebay in November will face Democrat incumbent Wayne Dunn, who ran unopposed in the primary election. Tebay lost a re-election bid to Dunn six years ago.

A comment from Dunn was unavailable on Wednesday.

”The unsolicited support I received in the primary election is the expression of the confidence Wood County has in my past and future service as commissioner, and I feel compelled to honor that confidence,” Tebay said.

Greg Smith, Republican Party Executive Committee chairman, said if Tebay is willing and able to run, the party is ready to support his candidacy.

”We are glad Bob’s health issues turned around so he could stay on the ballot,” Smith said. ”Everyone is ready to move on.”

With the election six months away, the executive committee is going to be prepared if, for any reason, Tebay can’t continue with his candidacy. The deadline to withdraw from the general election is Aug. 12.

To be proactive, the committee passed a resolution this week that said if it is required to fill a vacancy for commission on the November ballot, it will nominate Brown, who came in second in the primary. Smith said this was done in response to a number of questions and other concerns brought to the committee.

”There was so much speculation, we thought we would put our position out there,” Smith said. ”We want to make it as clear as we could.”

In talking with Tebay, Smith said no one ever plans to get sick, but Tebay has made a good recovery.

”We are glad it was temporary,” Smith said. ”Bob is able to run and made his decision quickly.”