More Coverage From ‘Meet the Candidates’ Night in Wetzel County
Last week the Wetzel Chronicle published coverage from two “Meet the Candidates” functions that were held recently in the county. Below, is the continuation of the coverage and statements made those present in each race.
Commissioner of Agriculture Race:
Kent Leonhardt: Current West Virginia Senator Kent Leonhardt, who is now running for Commissioner of Agriculture stated that, if elected, “I’m working for you. I’m responding to you and the people I’ve dealt with so far in Wetzel County.”
Leonhardt spoke about his background with farming and expressed concern with current issues facing farmers today, as well as those facing consumers of agricultural goods.
“Do you know the average meal in West Virginia travels 1500 miles. Every time that food changes hands, it is at risk.”
Leonhardt also cited is experience as a Marine. He served for 20 years and retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 1996. Personal decorations Leonhardt received during his service include: Legion of Merit, Combat Action Ribbon, and eight other personal decorations.
Circuit Judge – Judicial Circuit 2
Jeff Cramer: John Turak spoke on behalf of Jeff Cramer, who was unable to make the candidates forum, due to illness.
“He has a lot of experience as prosecuting attorney and prosecuting cases. He was a founding member of the drug task force in Marshall County and has been very active in prosecution of drug-related offenses and sexual abuse offenses.”
Turak said Cramer has tried “an untold number of criminal cases.”
“As a result he has got the record of experience and would be the best person for the job. I think everyone knows that to believe in a judge, you want somebody that is held to the highest ethical standards, has integrity, is conscientious, works hard, is fair and impartial, and balanced, and is obviously a reflection of community values.”
Turak said the job of a judge has been described ‘as a humble servant of the law.'”
“If some of you know Jeff Cramer, and I know some of you do, you would know that phrase describes him to a ‘t.'”
John Artimez: John Artimez cited his 100 percent conviction rate. “Drug dealers, sex offenders, when they came into my caseload, they ended up convicted. That is something I’m proud of.”
Artimez said his work ethic has shown, “and it is a work ethic I will carry over to the bench.”
“Most importantly, you want to make sure you elect someone who understands and appreciates the problems facing our community and is willing to take a stand.”
“We’ve been doing the same thing for a long, long time, and look at where we are. Our children are being killed. They are dying.”
Artimez said there needs to be an atmosphere “where drug dealers are afraid to come here and sell their poison.”
Artimez said, if elected, he would make sure that drug dealers would serve every minute of every day, of the maximum possible sentence.
“That is a promise I made to you. You feel free to call me on it,” he said.
House of Delegates – Delegate District 5
Dave Pethtel: Dave Pethtel, incumbent for House of Delegates, thanked the voters of Wetzel County for allowing him to represent them for 24 years. “You’ve been very good to me. You’ve elected me 12 times, and I want to thank you for that.”
Pethtel noted the importance of “trying to earn the respect of the people of home in order to get elected.”
“You have to earn that respect over a period of years.”
Pethtel said that after so many years in office, the people know what they are getting from him.
“You are going to get a person who will listen, a person that, if you call me, I’m going to get back with you.”
Pethtel stated that his constituents will get the truth “even when it isn?t what you want to hear.”
Pethtel said in his 24 years, he’s never done anything in office to “embarrass myself, my family, or you – the people I’ve been elected to represent.”
He noted that he has never been in trouble with the law either.
Pethtel said throughout the past year, he voted against forced pooling, which he knew his people were against. Pethtel also cited other bills that he voted against, as requested by his constituents.
“In closing, two issues where I said respect and inexperience mean so much – I’m proud to play a big part in keeping the state police detachment in Hundred open two years ago. I’m proud to have played a big part in getting the trout stocking back here in the North and South fork of Fishing Creek.”
Wetzel County Magistrate
Tom Shepherd: Current Magistrate Tom Shepherd thanked the farm bureau for “this traditional election year forum that we are here partaking in tonight.”
Sheperd said he is unopposed and “happy for that.” He said it has been a privilege to serve the citizens of Wetzel County in the position as an elected official, and now as magistrate.
“This is not something I take lightly, and I’m very appreciate of that. I’d also like to thank the people who are here this evening.”
Wetzel County Circuit Clerk:
Cindy Glasscock: Cindy Glasscock said her husband and her have resided in Folsom for 40 years and have raised three sons. She said she is a lifelong Democrat and graduated from Valley High School. She said she has 30 years of business experience, as she has owned and managed four convenience stores and is the owner and president of Glasscock Construction. Glasscock said she has hired, fired, and supervised employees; maintained all bookkeeping, accounts receivable, and payroll taxes, and has been treasurer of the Folsom Fire Department for 25 years, as well as director of services since 2014. She said this job involves billing ambulance calls to Medicare and Medicaid.
Glasscock said she decided to further her education in 2003, when she attended Fairmont State College. Here, she registered in the Emergency Medical services program.
Glasscock said she maintained a 3.7-3.9 Grade Point Average and made the Dean’s List all four semesters, as well as the National Dean’s List.
She said she is a paramedic for Folsom Fire Department and is a member of Wallace Baptist Church.
Lori Wetzel McCoy: McCoy said she is a lifelong resident of the area and resides in New Martinsville with her husband and four cats. She said she is a member of the Steelton Church of Christ, Relay for Life Committee, and is a member of the Wetzel County Democrat Women.
Furthermore, McCoy said she was appointed to the Wetzel County Democrat Executive Committee in November 2015 and was recently selected to serve as a delegate for the West Virginia State Democrat Convention.
McCoy said she has 14 years’ experience in county government, as she has worked as bookkeeper at the county clerk’s office since 2001. She said she has only held three jobs in her life and prides herself on that. “I’m a very hardworking, dedicated person,” she noted.
McCoy said she began her fourth job when she filed pre-candidacy papers for the circuit clerk’s position.
County Clerk Race:
County Clerk Carol Haught is running unopposed for her position. She said she does not take this fact lightly, nor does she take it for granted.
Haught said she is currently in her 18th year of county clerk and appreciates all the past support she has received and would certainly appreciate support for this election as well.
Prosecuting Attorney Race:
Prosecuting Attorney Tim Haught, who is also running unopposed, said he is “blessed to serve the citizens of Wetzel County for the last 16 years.”
He said he could not do his job if it were not for the support, encouragement, and prayers of his fellow citizens.
He said he has had the privilege of working with “some of the finest law enforcement in West Virginia, finest magistrates, and two of the finest circuit court judges – David Hummel and Jeff Cramer.”