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Thompson, McNemar, Bailey win

by Darlene J. Taylor

STAFF WRITER

CLARKSBURG -- In one of the closest Clarksburg elections that many could recall, Dan Thompson, Jo Anne McNemar and Margaret Ann Bailey on Tuesday were the winners of the three City Council seats.

In the only other race on the ballot, Paul J. Howe III ousted Clarksburg Water Board President Charles O. Thayer III by a vote of 1,340 to 1,246 for the only open slot on the Water Board.

About 24 percent of the voters turned out for the rainy day election.

A former vice mayor and an eight-year council member, Thompson was the top vote-getter of the 10 candidates running for the three council seats with 1,118 votes.

McNemar, a community development specialist, came in second with 909 votes.

"I look forward to making a positive impact for the city of Clarksburg," said McNemar.

McNemar's father, Joe Lucente, said it was a tough battle. "She -- we did a lot of work, pounded the sidewalks and put out a lot of signs."

Incumbent Margaret Ann Bailey received the third-highest total with 896, beating incumbent Tom Flynn by only five votes at 891.

"I'm very excited to have two new people on Council," said Bailey. "I look forward to a positive four years and am overjoyed with the faith people have shown in me."

Flynn said it was another tough election. But, he added, there still are challenged ballots to count.

"I am disappointed," Flynn said. "But, the people have spoken."

Howe, a Fairmont State College graduate, ran what many called an aggressive campaign.

"I am glad to see the city have faith in its youth," Howe said. "I've had a lot of fun and met a lot of great people. The work won't stop here."

Water Board member Al Cox said he thought Howe ran a good campaign and worked hard. Cox also commended Thayer for the job he did as board president.

"Charlie worked hard and faced difficult issues," Cox said.

"I know Paul because he went to (Washington Irving High School) with my kids," Cox said. "I know he will work with us and the goals we set for a very honest and efficient water board."

Others garnering votes in the City Council election were (in order of votes received): Louis J. Iquinto, 817; incumbent David D.A. Kates, 796; Frankie Bellotte, 612; Bernard J. Folio, 500; Tony Olivito, 144; and Charles (Chero) Howard, 129.

Everything went smoothly during the counting process using the optical scanner, although workers did have to wait until 9:20 p.m. for the final precinct to tally up the totals.

City Clerk Annette Wright said there were about 160 absentee and no-excuse votes throughout the city.

"I met with (a representative of) the Secretary of State's office today," Wright said. "He said things were very efficient and he was impressed by what he saw."

Any challenged votes will be considered at the canvassing on Monday.

Staff writer Darlene J. Taylor can be reached at 626-1403 or by e-mail at dtaylor@exponent-telegram.com