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Reasons to Vote in Putnam’s May 14 Primary Election

Not all Putnam County registered voters will participate in the May 14 Primary. Voter turnout is determined by caring. Turnout is always greater for the November General Election because people care about the officials who will represent them in Washington and in Charleston.

That said, there is much which many care about that will be determined when votes are counted on May 14. Most everyone cares about taxes because government services are dependent upon tax revenues. Funding sources for Putnam County Schools and the Putnam County Fire Service Board are stake.

Putnam voters have approved an additional special levy in support of county schools for many, many years. Voters will determine if that support will continue on May 14th. Voters will also determine if a special levy should be authorized to support the Fire Service Board. The Board currently relies upon revenue generated by an annual fire fee. The proposed special levy will replace the fire fee with a an increase in property taxes of about 4%. The out-of-pocket cost would be far less than 4% for many taxpayers because fire fees would be eliminated.

City of Nitro voters will see a city excess levy on their ballots. That levy is not new. Nitro voters are being asked to continue the current level of city services.

Voters will elect two circuit court judges, one family court judge, three magistrates, and two members to the Board of Education. Incumbent Circuit Court Judge Joseph Reeder and Family Court Judge Rick Witt are unopposed. Incumbent Circuit Court Judge Phillip Stowers is opposed by attorney Jon Hoover. Two Magistrates, Linda Hunt and Jean Luikart, are unopposed. Eric Whitney, Sarah Weaver, and Larry Wingo are seeking to fill the magistrate post left vacant by the resignation of Kylene Dunlap Brown.

The Board of Education race features incumbent Christian Wells against Jacob Fertig in District I and retired superintendent of schools Chuck Hatfield against Paul Sowards in District III.

The May Primary will also see the election of two State Supreme Court Justices and one State Intermediate Court of Appeals Judge. None of these candidates have close ties to Putnam County.

Registered Republicans and non-affiliated voters choosing to vote the Republican ballot have the opportunity to cast their vote for Putnam County Clerk Brian Wood who is seeking to become the Republican candidate for Secretary of State. Republican ballot voters will also have a role in selecting candidates for United States Senate, House of Representatives, Governor, Auditor, Treasurer, Secretary of Agriculture, Attorney General, State Senate and House of Delegates.

Putnam voters will determine the Republican and Democratic candidates for House of Delegate Districts 19, 20, and 21. The only contested races are on the Republican ticket with incumbent Kathy Hess Crouse facing Debbie Deweese in the 19th and Jacob Losh against Sarah Drennan in the 20th District.

In county partisan races, there are no contested races. The Republican candidates for County Commission, Sheriff, Prosecuting Attorney, and Assessor are all unopposed incumbents.

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