CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. (WDVM) — The politcal campaign season is in the home stretch and candidates are stumping the eastern panhandle for every last vote.
The panhandle identifies more with the metropolitan Washington, DC area than perhaps the rest of West Virginia. So when the candidate for state auditor, Mary Ann Claytor, from Charleston, the state capital, visits Shepherdstown, she is a new face to the region. What is she hearing from voters?
“Voters are ready for outsiders you know,” says Claytor, “because they’ve become so disenfranchised with the government.”
“Meanwhile, closer to home, Jefferson County is watching a legislative race drawing distinct contrasts in candidates. Republican challenger Wayne Clark owns a golf course and wants the government to be more accommodating to small businesses.
“We have so much red tape that businesses have to go through,” says Clark, “through licensing through regulations, through state codes and — we need to simplify that process.”
And hoping to hold the seat for Democrats is incumbent Delegate Sammi Brown whose focus is more on social issues in this fast-growing county.
“We have legislation around criminal justice reform,” says Brown “and I went after civil and human rights. I want to make sure there is an ethical treatment of assault survivors.”
On that point, while Brown is not making it a campaign issue, her opponent was convicted of a battery charge years ago, something Clark says is “way in the past.” This race is focused on the issues.
With record turnout for early voting, candidiates are out making every contact they can.
And while Clark is challenging incumbent Delegate Brown, Mary Ann Claytor is in the race to unseat State Auditor J.B. McCuskey.