CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Kanawha County will have two new magistrates after county voters elected two newcomers to fill 10 available magistrate positions, including one vacated by former Magistrate Carol Fouty.
Fouty, Kanawha County's only Republican magistrate, resigned in August after a 26-year career following an investigation of charges she violated judicial ethics rules. Under an agreement with the state Judicial Hearing Board, Fouty agreed to remove herself from the November election.
Kanawha Chief Circuit Judge Duke Bloom initially appointed Fouty's longtime assistant, Kristen Vieweg, to take Fouty's place, but Vieweg said she did not intend to run for the office. John Jarman, a former candidate for Kanawha County Assessor, was picked by the county Republican Executive Committee to take Fouty's place on the ballot.
But it was another Republican, Mike Sisson, who led the polls with the most votes after unofficial totals for all 166 Kanawha County precincts were tallied on Tuesday.
Newcomer Brent Hall, a Democrat, ousted incumbent Magistrate Paris Workman, one of nine Democrats up for re-election in the magistrate race.
"I worked my butt off, because I knew it was going to be hard to keep a seat," said incumbent Magistrate Julie Yeager, who finished in fifth place on Tuesday. "The two newcomers really worked hard."
A total of 10 Democrats and four Republicans were vying for the 10 magistrate's seats.
Sisson was the top vote-getter, with 29,113 votes. Incumbent Democrats re-elected included Jack Pauley, with 28,609 votes; Pete Lopez, with 28,530; Kim Aaron, with 27,740; Yeager, with 27,332; Ward Harshbarger, with 27,066; Joe Shelton, with 26,668 and Traci Carper-Strickland, with 25,906. Hall was elected with 25,513 votes, followed by incumbent Democrat Tim Halloran, with 24,934.
Those who didn't garner enough votes to make the top 10 were Republican Dianna Graves, with 24,725; Republican Bob Keller, with 24,694; Workman, with 24,548 and Jarman, who finished last with 22,451.
In the county assessor's race, Democrat Sallie Robinson defeated Republican challenger Forest Carper by a comfortable margin of 38,113 votes to 28,640.