WCHS Eyewitness News Home Charleston Eyewitness Newsroom Charleston Storm Team Weather Sports News TV Program Schedule Community Mobile: Smartphone,Tablet and SMS text Get Connected SMS Text Facebook Twitter See-It,Shoot-It RSS News Feed Email List Tumblr


Historic Mingo County Election Only Draws 30 Percent Turnout

Reported: May. 14, 2014 6:17 PM EDT
Updated: May. 15, 2014 4:45 PM EDT
EYEWITNESS NEWS ONLINE WEBCAST VIDEO

News Image

WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (Leslie Rubin) -- A federal investigation brought down four major officeholders in Mingo County, but on Tuesday night, voters had the chance to make a change and attempt to steer themselves out of the corruption that has plagued the county.

Eyewitness News was there, as major races came down to just a handful of votes.

Despite the historic election to fill the offices for sheriff, prosecutor, judge, commissioner and magistrate, there was only a 30 percent voter turnout in the county. Some candidates said they feared the federal probe would turn people away who have perhaps lost faith completely in Mingo County government.

"We expected a tight race," Greg "Hootie" Smith, the incumbent commissioner who defeated his opponent former Sheriff Lonnie Hannah by just 77 votes, said.

Earlier in the week, Smith had accused Hannah of paying off early voters with $50 checks and steak dinners. They were accusations that Hannah denied.

"Mingo County has been through very difficult time over the past year. Now it's time to unite the county, and it's time for Mingo County to heal and move forward. I look forward to leading Mingo County in that direction," Smith said after his win.

Joining Smith on the county commission, Mingo Clerk "Big" Jim Hatfield defeated his opponents to fill the remainder of David Baisden's unexpired term. Baisden is getting ready to serve 20 months in prison for federal extortion.

"The good Lord has to help us to get this corruption out of this county," Hatfield said.

Mingo County elected current family court Judge Miki Thompson to fill the remainder of disgraced former Judge Michael Thornsbury's unexpired term, winning over Jonathan "Duke" Jewell by roughly 700 votes.

Staying in the courtroom will be interim prosecutor Teresa Maynard, who narrowly defeated her opponent Charles "Butch" West by just 182 votes. She will take over the term of former prosecutor Michael Sparks, who has yet to be sentenced.

"I just feel like I had an obligation to the people in this county. To step up and lead us out of the trouble that we were currently in. I feel very strongly about this county and the people in it and I just wanted to be there for them," Maynard said.

Jim Harvey, a name on the ballot for the last 10 years, coming out victorious in his fight to fill the remainder of former Chief Magistrate Dallas Toler's term.

"Help restore the faith of the people, that they can come to the magistrate and feel that they're being treated fair," Harvey said of his goal in office.

In a landslide win against Roy Tiller, Sheriff James Smith will hold on to his job. He was appointed after Sheriff Eugene Crum was murdered in 2012.

"They're ready for us to get this cloud off us. Move forward, and get Mingo County back on track," Smith said.

It's a chance for change amid an investigation federal authorities have said is not over.

Because there were no Republicans in these races, these Democrats will have no opposition in November.



MORE NEWS FROM EYEWITNESS NEWS
Fourth Arrest Made In Connection To Foodland Robbery And Shooting
News
Aug. 20, 2014 12:23 PM EDT
A fourth arrest was made Wednesday in connection to ...
Full News Story

Multiple Businesses Struck By "Marble" Vandals
News
Aug. 20, 2014 12:05 AM EDT
A rash of vandalism strikes multiple businesses on ...
Full News Story

Victim's Name Release In Deadly Crash Involving Train
News
Aug. 19, 2014 11:15 PM EDT
The Putnam County Sheriff has released more information ...
Full News Story


News Increased Heroin Calls Delay Ambulance Runs
Aug. 19, 2014 11:14 PM EDT
News Bridge Valley Opens New Training Center For Workforce Development
Aug. 19, 2014 10:19 PM EDT
News Overcrowding Forces Braxton County Students To Transfer Schools
Aug. 19, 2014 9:30 PM EDT
News Reports Of Sheen On Elk River Tuesday
Aug. 19, 2014 8:52 PM EDT
News Vacant Properties Auctioned Off In Huntington
Aug. 19, 2014 8:22 PM EDT
News $1 Million Powerball Ticket Goes Unclaimed
Aug. 19, 2014 8:04 PM EDT
News Former GOP Presidential Candidate Stumps For WV Republicans
Aug. 19, 2014 7:46 PM EDT
News Car Crash Victim's Family Outraged After Personal Items Were Left At Crash Site
Aug. 19, 2014 6:08 PM EDT
News Billionaire To Pay $1.5M Fine For KY Mines
Aug. 19, 2014 7:14 PM EDT
News Man Arrested In Connection To Raleigh County Fatal Fire
Aug. 19, 2014 6:04 PM EDT
News 8-Year-Old Falls To Death In Yellowstone Canyon
Aug. 19, 2014 3:45 PM EDT
News Three-Judge Panel To Hear Kanawha Prosecutor Petition
Aug. 19, 2014 3:37 PM EDT
News Special Counsel Recommends WV Judge Suspension
Aug. 19, 2014 3:33 PM EDT
News CDC Says WV Agency Was Untrained For Chem Spill
Aug. 19, 2014 3:23 PM EDT
News Huntington Airport Offers New Nonstop Flight
Aug. 19, 2014 3:09 PM EDT
News Broadband Conference Underway In Charleston
Aug. 19, 2014 2:20 PM EDT
News Dedication Ceremony Held For New Port In South Point
Aug. 19, 2014 5:54 PM EDT
News Race For WV's Second Congressional Seat Is Wide Open
Aug. 19, 2014 2:04 PM EDT
News Kanawha County Man Faces Sexual Abuse Charge
Aug. 19, 2014 6:20 PM EDT
News Huntington Man Faces Multiple Sexual Abuse Charges Involving Child
Aug. 19, 2014 6:19 PM EDT
News Trial Of Logger Accused Of Illegally Cutting At Coonskin Continues
Aug. 19, 2014 1:54 PM EDT
News WV American Water Issues Boil Water Advisory to 75 Customers in Knollwood Subdivision in Charleston, WV
Aug. 18, 2014 11:37 PM EDT
News Update: Foodland Armed Robbery Search For Suspects
Aug. 18, 2014 10:47 PM EDT
News Charleston Moves Forward With Proposed Sales Tax Hike
Aug. 18, 2014 10:31 PM EDT
News Hospital Network Hacked; Millions Of Records Stolen
Aug. 18, 2014 10:22 PM EDT
News Putnam County High Schools Use Upperclassmen Leaders To Help Freshmen Transition
Aug. 18, 2014 8:51 PM EDT
News Trial Underway For Logger Accused Of Illegally Cutting At Coonskin
Aug. 18, 2014 10:34 PM EDT
News Charleston PD Investigating Man Shot In Hand
Aug. 18, 2014 5:43 PM EDT
News Documents Surrounding WV Water Crisis May Be Fair Game
Aug. 18, 2014 5:30 PM EDT
News Golf Scramble Gives Back To Hospice Of Huntington
Aug. 18, 2014 4:50 PM EDT


Advertise on WCHS-TV Online

West Virginia News
Nurse sues South Charleston hospital over flu shot

A South Charleston hospital is being sued by a nurse who says she was required to get a flu shot despite being allergic to the vaccine.
Full Story

Kentucky News
Owensboro delays considering 'fairness ordinance'

Officials in Owensboro have decided to put off considering a gay rights ordinance for at least a year.
Full Story

Ohio News
Ohio abortion clinic ends fight over closure order

A Cincinnati-area abortion clinic has ended its fight with the state over a closure order and will stop performing surgical abortions on Friday.
Full Story







Fugitive Files Tuesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

West Virginia Wildlife Wednesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

ABC News web site







Send Mail Send email to news@wchstv.com for information or comments concerning WCHS-TV Eyewitness News.
Copyright ©2014, WCHS-TV8. Portions are Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.

WCHS ABC 8 provides local news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, notices of events and items of interest in the community, sports and entertainment programming for Charleston and nearby towns and communities in the Tri-State area, including Huntington, Dunbar, Marmet, Montgomery, Nitro, South Charleston, St. Albans, Cedar Grove, Chesapeake, Clendenin, East Bank, Glasgow, Pratt, Cross Lanes, Elkview, Pinch, Sissonville, Big Chimney, Cabin Creek, Chelyan, Davis Creek, Institute, Jefferson, Loudendale, Mink Shoals, Pocatalico, Quick, Quincy, Rand, Buffalo, Eleanor, Hurricane, Nitro, Poca, Winfield, Culloden, Fraziers Bottom, Hometown, Red House, Scott Depot, Teays Valley, Danville, Madison, Hamlin, Logan, Chapmanville, Man, Delbarton, Kermit, Gilbert, Matewan, Williamson, Summersville, Richwood, Flatwoods, Gassaway, Sutton, Spencer, Ravenswood, Ripley, Mason, Point Pleasant, Ashland, Pikeville, Ironton, Portsmouth, Gallipolis, and Athens.