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Clendenin mayor ousted; town council race tied

By Staff reports

CLENDENIN, W.Va. -- Mayor Bob Ore was ousted in Tuesday's town election, and his nephew, Billy Ore, is part of a tied race for a Town Council seat.

Bob Ore finished third in the three-person mayoral race, according to Town Recorder David Ross. Gary Bledsoe, a former town councilman, will be the town's new mayor. He received 100 votes, to 83 for Robert Evans and 58 for Ore.

Billy Ore is tied with incumbent Councilman Sidney Oliver for the final spot on the five-member town council. Each received 119 votes.

Ross said the election results weren't released Tuesday night, because election workers recounted the votes three times to try to resolve the tie.

They discovered two "provisional ballots" that have not been counted because officials suspected that the voters might live outside of Kanawha County, Ross said. Election commissioners plan to examine the provisional ballots to ascertain whether the people who cast the votes were Kanawha County residents.

If the ballots are valid, they may break the tie, Ross said. If not, Town Council members will have to vote to decide which candidate is seated. It was not clear if that would be decided by the current council or the new council. A final result should be in by Monday.

In other races, Ross was re-elected as recorder with 127 votes to 105 for Cathy Deel. Incumbent Town Council members Mike Stout (165 votes), Ronald Deel (140 votes) and John Shelton (132 votes) were re-elected, and former councilman Kenneth Payne (141 votes) joined them. Challenger Martha Mitchell received 105 votes.

Error doesn't impact White Sulphur Springs race

Meanwhile, two digits were reversed while transcribing results in the City Council race in White Sulphur Springs in Greenbrier County, but the difference wasn't enough to affect the outcome of the race.

Council candidate Lynn Swann was originally reported as having 170 votes from one precinct, which gave her a total of 323. However, Swann actually had 107 votes in that precinct, which gave her a total of 260 votes.

That was just enough to make her the fifth and final person elected to the council. She joined George Parker, Eddie Coleman, Audrey Burns Vanburen and Bruce Bowling. A sixth candidate, Jackson Bowling, finished 11 votes behind Swann.

Thomas Taylor was overwhelmingly voted out as White Sulphur Springs mayor after a tumultuous first term. Taylor, who was elected at age 21, resigned in 2011 after being accused of looking at pornography on a city computer. But he then sued to get his job back, claiming he had been forced out, and a judge reinstated him in February 2012. Taylor received 135 votes to 296 votes for City Councilman Lloyd Haynes, who served as mayor during Taylor's resignation. Peggy Bland was elected as city recorder.


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