PARKERSBURG - The Wood County Farm Bureau helped sponsor a fundraiser along with a "meet the candidate" Tuesday night at the Parkersburg Municipal Building.
The title for the night was embraced as "Patriotic Night with politicians and homemade pies."
The night quickly turned from being about pies to a debating platform for county and state candidates. Mayor Bob Newell introduced the guests and started the night by explaining the proceedings.
A representative from Congressman David McKinley's office read a letter from the congressman explaining his absence because of a previous commitment.
"It is an honor to be named as a friend to the farm bureau," he said.
McKinely stated in the letter that his future goals for the people of West Virginia include job security, the coal industry, the chemical industry and farmers.
"(Candidates) must protect the jobs our families depend on," he stated in the letter.
Secretary of State Natalie Tennant is running for re-election. She said her experiences from being a "farm girl" have taught her values and thoughts to "do more with less."
"People can see the efficiencies I put in place from what I learned on the farm," she said.
Tennant's opponent in the race Brian Savilla said he is the "polar opposite" political figure to Tennant.
"I am 100 percent against Internet voting," he said. "It has proven to be a failure."
Savilla said he is for voter identification, saying it was the simplest fix to our elections flaws. He made many statements about why he would be the better fit as secretary of state.
"I hate to be so harsh," he said. "But in politics you need to tell the truth."
Farm bureau secretary Janet Wigal said Tuesday was the third night the organization has done the auctioning of pies and meet the candidate night. Wigal said the three judges for the pies were vice president of WTAP Roger Sheppard, Newell and Wood County Prosecuting Attorney Jason Wharton.
"The pies were donated by 4-H members, team leaders, CEOs and farm bureau members," she said.
Wigal said the category for pies included apple, cherry, blackberry, pumpkin and blueberry. Proceeds from the pies being auctioned went to the Wood County 4-H Trustees to repair the barns on the 4-H side of the 4-H campground.
Wood County Commissioner Blair Couch said he believes every candidate present at the event stands for the same thing, serving their community.
"(Elected officials) do it for the benefit of their community," he said. "That is what we are about as a community and I believe in Wood County and those that serve."
Harry Deitzler, who is facing Couch in the commissioner's race, said he is running his campaign on his accessibility to the community on a daily basis.
"I have never had an unlisted phone number," he said. "You can call me at home any time you want; you can call me at the office and I will always be there."
Other candidates for various offices voiced their opinions on their campaigns, and answered questions that had been gathered by the sponsors.