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Three cities to have elections Tuesday: Clendenin, Marmet, Pratt

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Voters in Clendenin, Marmet and Pratt will go to the polls Tuesday to pick city leaders and vote on other town business.

In Clendenin, former Town Councilman Gary Bledsoe and former Town Recorder Robert Evans are up against incumbent Mayor Bob Ore for the mayor's seat. Ore has been mayor for eight years.

Incumbent Town Recorder David Ross will face challenger Cathy Deel.

Four town council members also will try to hold on to their seats when Clendenin residents elect five members to council. Incumbents Ron Deel, Sidney Oliver, John Shelton Jr. and Mike Stout face opposition from former town Councilman Kenneth Payne, local activist Martha Mitchell and William Ore, who is the nephew of the mayor.

Clendenin's fifth council member, Councilman Darris Holcomb, died of cancer in March.

Town residents also will vote on a referendum to lengthen the term of city officials from two years to four years. Ore said a two-year term doesn't give officials enough time to get anything accomplished.

In Marmet, Mayor Bill Pauley faces a re-election battle against Town Councilman Robert Wells and former Councilwoman Ruth Meadows. Pauley has been mayor in Marmet for 30 years.

In the race for recorder, Tammy Kersey faces Jill Runion. Current Recorder Dave Fontalbert is not running for re-election.

Only three of Marmet's incumbent council members are running for re-election to five seats on council. Incumbents Bill Tardy, Jerry McGhee and Ron Wilson face opposition from Terry Russell, Wynter Winnell, John Dickens, Travis Walker, Charles Humphrey, Debbie Skeens, Jake Halstead and Gary Hardman.

Only town council races in the town of Pratt are opposed, although residents also will vote on a referendum to extend terms of office from two to four years and a referendum to sell the town's ailing water system.

Pratt Mayor Gary Fields, who's been in office for four years already, is unopposed on Tuesday. Ellen Hopkins, a candidate for town recorder, also faces no opposition.

Incumbent Town Council members Rose Perry, Charlotte Calhoun, Kaye Ford and Chris Tincher will face Eric Holcomb, Herbert R. Hoover Jr. and Don Adams in the race for five council seats.

Residents also are being asked to approve selling Pratt's antiquated water system to West Virginia American Water for $437,000. The water company has agreed to an additional $400,000 in upgrades and new water lines.

City officials can no longer afford to maintain the town's crumbling water plant, which has had recurring problems providing water that is up to modern safety standards. City officials say the sale will ensure that town residents and residents of nearby communities have clean, safe drinking water.

Voters also will decide on extending the terms of elected officials in town. Fields said two years is not long enough for officials to be effective, and elections every two years are too expensive.

Polls in Clendenin, Marmet and Pratt will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Reach Rusty Marks at rustymarks@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1215.


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