PARKERSBURG - A procedure has been established for write-in candidates to file for mayor of Vienna after a candidate for the office died Thursday morning.
Jack Roush, 51, was pronounced dead at Camden Clark Medical Center. He suffered a heart attack, officials said.
Roush was running against Randy Rapp in the non-partisan election for mayor.
A filing period will be open until 4 p.m. today for write-in candidates for mayor, Wood County Prosecutor Jason Wharton said. Representatives from the city, the prosecutor and the county clerk met Thursday morning to determine the procedure to be followed.
Eligible residents shall file a write-in candidate certificate of announcement with the city before the close of business at 4 p.m. today, pursuant to West Virginia Code 3-6-4a, Wharton said. The procedure was determined in consultation with the secretary of state, the prosecutor, the city of Vienna and the county clerk, he said.
Early voting started Oct. 24 and more than 15 percent of the electorate in Vienna has voted, County Clerk Jamie Six said. The votes already cast will stand, he said.
Roush's name will remain on the ballot, and if he wins he "can still be certified as the winner," Six said.
However, if Roush wins, a vacancy in the office of mayor will occur on Jan. 1, Six said. The council recorder will become acting mayor until council meets to appoint a mayor who will serve the four-year term, he said.
No special election will be held, Six said.
A list of certified write-in candidates will be posted at the early voting sites as they are filed, Six said.
To vote a write-in on an electronic voting machine, choose write-in at which time a keyboard appears on the screen, he said. The voter will then type the candidate's name on the touch-screen pad, Six said. Touch "accept" after typing the name, he said.
Roush formerly owned the Hill House on West Virginia 2 and was a manager at Applebee's.
"It's quite a shock," Mayor David Nohe said.
Nohe expressed the city's condolences to the Roush family and said he was notified of his passing at 6 a.m. Thursday.
"Our hearts go out to his wife and children," said Nohe, who did not run for re-election.
"He was so enthusiastic about running for mayor," Nohe said. "He's talked about this for two years."
Roush's opponent in the election, Randy Rapp, city recorder for Vienna, also was shocked and saddened.
"My sympathies go out to his entire family. Jack was a gentleman," Rapp said. "My family and I give them our deepest sympathies and I am sorry for the loss."