PARKERSBURG - Bob Tebay tried Monday to withdraw his name from the May 13 primary election race for Wood County Commission.
But it may not be as easy as it sounds.
"Due to a recent illness it has become necessary for me to withdraw from the race for Wood County commissioner. I do not feel it would be fair to other Republican candidates to remain on the ticket since I can not devote a full out effort to the campaign," Tebay said in a prepared statement released Monday.
Tebay asked, if possible, his name be removed from the ballot and he encouraged all his supporters "to support and vote for the most qualified Republican candidate."
"I want to thank the citizens of Wood County for allowing me to serve as a commissioner for 12 years. I believe Wood County is destined for exciting times. With the coming of the Cracker Plant, oil and gas development and all related businesses the citizens of our area should see improved economic development for many years to come," Tebay said.
Tebay's announcement was sent to Wood County Clerk Mark Rhodes and Greg Smith, Wood County Republican Executive Committee chairman.
After consulting with Prosecutor Jason Wharton, Rhodes said Tebay was to be notified if he still wishes to withdraw, he needs to submit a notarized statement to that effect.
"We will let him know if he wants to follow through," Rhodes said Monday afternoon.
Wharton said after reviewing the code, it states a candidate's name cannot be removed from the ballot after the deadline has passed. The deadline was Feb. 11.
Wharton said the statute is not quite so clear on procedures that are to be followed if a candidate withdraws after the deadline, but he has been in contact with the secretary of state's office and cases are being provided for review.
If Tebay files the notarized statement of withdrawal at this time, any votes cast for him would not count. Then the candidate with the highest number of votes would be nominated, Wharton said.
If he doesn't withdraw until after the primary, and he wins the primary election, then the Republican Executive Committee, with the permission of the State Election Commission, would appoint a replacement candidate for the general election.
Wharton said it would probably be necessary to meet with the remaining candidates and explain the procedures; otherwise there might be challenges.
"The code did not address all the issues so I asked Jason for his legal opinion," Rhodes said.
Republican Executive Committee chairman Greg Smith said Monday he was disappointed Tebay dropped out of the race.
"Of course nobody knows who will win a primary; with Bob's experience, it definitely changes the complexion of the race dramatically. Whenever anyone drops out, you hate to see that," Smith said.
Tebay was a recent recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Republican Party.
"Bob has been very active with the party. We thought he had another run for this. But health and family always come first. I always tell candidates that," Smith said.
Early voting for the primary is scheduled for April 30- May 10.
Incumbent Wood County Commissioner Wayne Dunn is the lone Democrat running in the primary race for the county commission seat up for election.
The other three Republican candidates vying for the District C commission seat are Raymond Jones, Roger Brown and Sam Baker.
While county commission candidates serve countywide, they are elected one each from the three districts every six years. The district up for election this year is District C.
Tebay served 12 years on the commission, leaving in 2008 after he was defeated by Dunn.