2011-11-10 / Front Page

McCray, Cutchall, Dasher To Lead County

Voter turnout only 30 percent in municipal election
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

Rodney McCray Rodney McCray County residents will ring in the new year in 2012 with several new faces seated at the helm of local government.

Among those most notably selected during Tuesday’s municipal election were commissioner candidates Rodney McCray, Craig Cutchall and Irvin Dasher. As political newcomers, McCray and Dasher will replace current commissioners Bonnie Mellott Keefer, who opted not to seek re-election, and David Hoover II.

Even though voter turnout only peaked at 30 percent this election, the voices of registered voters across the county remained clear and strong as ballot results were tallied. Republican candidates Cutchall and McCray obviously had their fair share of support from local voters. McCray came out on top in seven of the county’s precincts, while Cutchall secured the largest amount of votes at the remaining six polling places.

Unofficial election results at the close of the evening’s tabulations indicate McCray finished with 31.05 percent of the vote or 1,708 votes overall. Cutchall followed closely with 1,641 votes or 29.83 percent of the overall votes cast.

Craig Cutchall Craig Cutchall Meanwhile, Democratic challenger Dasher, who first announced his candidacy for commissioner in 2007, finished strong during the election clinching the final opening on the threeperson board. Dasher remained ahead of Hoover, a former elementary principal at the Forbes Road School District, throughout the evening by a margin of around 90 votes. Dasher closed out the day with 1,112 votes (20.21 percent) in comparison to Hoover’s 1,015 votes or 18.45 percent of the votes cast overall.

The race for county auditor came to an end Tuesday night with Republican candidates Rebecca Kendall and Sonnie Stenger taking the lion’s share of the votes cast. Kendall, the lone incumbent in the race, finished with 2,110 votes. Stenger followed with 1,520 votes, and Democratic contender Ellen R. Wagner secured the final slot on the Board of Auditors with 794 votes. Fellow Democratic candidate Robert R. Messick concluded the election with 501 votes.

Irvin Dasher Irvin Dasher Many incumbents holding county office went unchallenged in both the spring and November 8 election. Among those were District Attorney Travis Kendall (2,649 votes); county Treasurer Monica Seville (2,700 votes); and northern Magisterial District Judge Devin Horne (862 votes).

Having previously been appointed to fill a vacancy for county coroner, Berley Souders got his first opportunity to run for office this year. Souders garnered an uncontested 2,735 votes for the position of coroner.

Meanwhile, having outlasted Richard “Rick” Harr in the spring for both the Republican and Democratic parties’ nomination, Tamela Mellott Bard appeared on the November 8 ballot uncontested for the position of southern Magisterial District Judge. Bard finished with 954 votes.

John Lake of McConnellsburg picks up a ballot from Judge of Elections Charlene Gordon to vote Tuesday at the McConnellsburg Firehall. Lake was the 78th borough resident to vote in the general election by lunchtime. John Lake of McConnellsburg picks up a ballot from Judge of Elections Charlene Gordon to vote Tuesday at the McConnellsburg Firehall. Lake was the 78th borough resident to vote in the general election by lunchtime. County Sheriff Keith Stains (R) found competition in Democratic challenger Peggy Sue Bailey. Unofficial election results indicate Stains will continue in the capacity of sheriff after receiving 2,523 votes. Bailey rounded out the day with 395 votes.

School boards across the county will also see new directors take office at reorganization meetings in early December. At the Forbes Road School District, all five candidates listed on the ballot secured positions on the board. Candidates include Byron Helsel (453 votes), Rheon Gelvin (417), Merrill S. Arnold (414), Karen A. Peffer (402) and Teressa Bard (395). Only 27 write-in votes were cast in the school board race.

Furthermore, at the Southern Fulton School District voters will be represented by three new directors as well as two incumbents. Timothy Mellott will return to the board after having receiving 751 votes. He will be joined by newcomers Dale Sigel (689), Sam Souders (657), David R. Smith (613) and incumbent Danny Crouse (554). Not receiving sufficient votes for re-election was longtime board member and former board President Dwight Bard, who finished out the election with 448 votes.

With five names on the ballot and only five slots to fill on the Central Fulton School Board, the choices were obvious for area voters. Top vote getter was incumbent and retired teacher Gary Shives with 959 votes. Other candidates being sworn-in in the month of December will be Roger W. Strait (861 votes), Cory L. Gress (844), Christopher R. Hann (823) and Rick E. Marshall (814).

The McConnellsburg Borough Council race had a shortage of names on the ballot in their attempt to fill four positions. David A. Washabaugh IV (R) came out on top during the election with 156 votes, and incumbents Richard “Rick” Buterbaugh II (R) and Travis O. Bard (D) had 129 and 106 votes respectively. The fourth slot will likely be decided on when the Board of Elections convenes on Monday to certify the votes cast. A total of 14 write-in votes were penned in with the majority of individuals receiving between one and three votes.

Several township supervisor races drew in local voters including one in Belfast Township where Republican John M. Keefer Jr. squared off against Democrat W. Matthew Shives. Keefer came out on top with 211 votes in comparison to 115 votes cast for Shives.

In Brush Creek Township, incumbent Supervisor Robert T. Layton (D) lost out to Republican challenger Jean Remsburg. Remsburg finished with 95 votes, and Layton followed closely with 89.

In Taylor Township, residents will say good-bye to longtime supervisor Boyd W. Gelvin Sr. (D), who fell short in votes against competitor John M. Black. Black, a Republican, tallied 156 in comparison to Gelvin’s 130 votes.

Additional township positions filled during the November 8 election include:

-Ayr Township Supervisor Marlin Harr, 362 votes

-Ayr Township Auditor Rebecca Kendall, 339 votes

-Belfast Township Auditor Larry G. Mellott, 281 votes

-Bethel Township Supervisor Charles A. Poole III, 141 votes

-Brush Creek Township Auditor Diane E. Whiteside, 144 votes

-Dublin Township Supervisor George W. Black, 188 votes

-Licking Creek Township Edwin E. Swope, 245 votes

Licking Creek Township Edwin E. Swope, 245 votes

Licking Creek Township Auditor Robert R. Messick, 147 votes

McConnellsburg Borough Auditor Peggy GordonHeadley, 160 votes

Taylor Township Auditor (6- year term) Martha Berkstresser, 182 votes

Taylor Township Auditor (2- year term) Doris L. Knepper, 242 votes

Thompson Township Supervisor D. Gene Mellott, 135 votes

Thompson Township Auditor Dorothy J. Hixon, 167 votes

Todd Township Supervisor Mack M. Clevenger, 248 votes

Todd Township Auditor Kim R. Christian, 196 votes

Union Township Supervisor Robert Shipley, 103 votes

Union Township Tax Collector (2-year term) Kaylie Oakman, 110 votes

Wells Township Supervisor Tina R. Ford, 91 votes

Wells Township Tax Collector Janis Helsel, 99 votes.

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