PARKERSBURG - Former Wood County Commissioner Bob Tebay came out on top in the Republican primary Tuesday night.
Tebay, who earlier tried to withdraw from the race due to health concerns, said Tuesday night he was surprised by the outcome.
"I didn't campaign at all," Tebay said.
Throughout the evening, the next highest vote-getter on the Republican side of the ledger, Parkersburg City Councilman Roger Brown, led from the early vote totals until later in the evening. With 63 of the 69 precincts reporting, there were only five votes separating Brown and Tebay, with Brown still leading.
With 65 precincts, Tebay pulled ahead with 1,561 votes to Brown's 1,515. At the end of the evening, Tebay had garnered 1,614 votes, with Brown coming in at 1,593. The vote totals are unofficial until the county commission completes the canvass.
There were approximately 77 provisional ballots that will be reviewed during the canvass.
Tebay said he did not campaign, but he appreciated all the support.
"I really appreciate those who voted for me," he said.
Tebay said he hasn't decided whether he will file a withdrawal again, but said he would not leave everyone wondering for long.
"I will make a decision as soon as possible so everyone knows what is going on. I'm feeling pretty good right now. I have some surgery coming up, but it should be taken care of," Tebay said.
When asked what he thought of his win, the former commissioner said: "I guess a lot of people thought I did all right in there before, and they'd like to see someone in there with experience who is willing to work together to get things done," Tebay said.
In mid-April Tebay submitted his withdrawal as a primary election candidate. The deadline to withdraw was Feb. 11. Because there was no election law addressing the situation, the county commission asked the attorney general for an opinion.
The attorney general said Tebay's name should still appear on the ballot as a Republican candidate for the county commission. The attorney general said if Tebay won the primary, the commission must certify him as the nominee. If he is to be replaced, he would have to withdraw again.
If Tebay does not withdraw, he will go into the general election as the Republican party's candidate.
The deadline to withdraw from the general election is Aug. 12.
If Tebay withdraws after the primary by the deadline, the Republican Executive Committee would need to have approval of the state Elections Committee, but could then appoint a replacement nominee for him going into the general election. The party would have until Aug. 18 to nominate a candidate for the general election.
Greg Smith, Republican Party Executive Committee chairman, was at the courthouse Tuesday night watching the election returns. He said the committee hopes Tebay will make his decision quickly.
Tebay ended the night with 1,614 votes; Brown had 1,593; Raymond Jones received 1,057 and Sam Baker got 819 votes.
Wood County Commissioner Wayne Dunn, a Democrat, ran unopposed. He received 2,949 votes.
Tebay served 12 years on the commission, leaving in 2008 after he was defeated by Dunn.
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.
Soil Conservation District candidate Delmas Carr ran unopposed. The district position is elected in the primary. Carr received 6,340 votes.
County Clerk Mark Rhodes, a Democrat, ended election evening with 3,115 votes. His Republican opponent, who was also unopposed, Bob Buchanan received 2,949 votes.