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Election Night 2012 -- Points of Note

November 2, 2012 - Joselyn King
What to watch for as election returns start rolling in Tuesday night:

* Voter Turnout -- Will West Virginia Democrats -- those not wanting to vote for President Barack Obama -- stay home from the polls? For the first time, will there be more straight ticket Republican ballots cast in West Virginia?

And what affect will turnout have on elections throughout West Virginia, especially in the southern part of the state? Could there be a political shift in the House of Delegates?

* What's in a name? -- Will voters be able to distinguish between some candidates with similar or noteworthy names?

In Monroe County, incumbent Democrat Tim R. Price (the "R" is for re-elect) is facing a challenge from Independent Timothy D. Price (the "D" is for difference). Election workers say voters already have expressed confusion in the race.

Then there's the race in Ohio's new 95th District involving Charlie Daniels -- a Democrat, not the country music icon. Of course, Daniels hasn't been fiddling around while campaigning this year.

And can people keep the two Thompson candidates straight? Incumbent Ohio Rep. Andy Thompson, R-Marietta, faces Daniels; while Shane Thompson (they're not related) is challenging Ohio Sen. Lou Gentile, D-Steubenville in the 30th District.

* Criminal behavior -- Do voters care when an elected official gets arrested? Will they get re-elected?

Belmont County Commissioner was acquitted on charges he threw a beer can (or bottle, the agents don't know) at an Ohio Liquor control officer. Delegate Ryan Ferns, D-Ohio, was arrested for driving with a blood alcohol nearly three times the legal limit. And Marshall County Commissioner Jason "Jake" Padlow has faced assault charges since his last election.

* Bad blood -- The most contentious -- and interesting -- race this year has to be for Ohio County Sheriff between Republican Sheriff Pat Butler and Democrat Tom Burgoyne, the former sheriff. They say they were friends for over 30 years, and remember Burgoyne campaigned four years ago to get Butler -- then his chief deputy -- elected sheriff. Of course, Butler now says Burgoyne wanted him to change party affiliations and conducted political business through the sheriff's office. Burgoyne says Butler treats the public and the deputies badly, and has no personality.

And bad blood has turned up in West Virginia's 3rd District House of Delegates race between Democrats Ferns and Shawn Fluharty. Fluharty has advertising showing Ferns drinking at his college graduation party. What if they both win the two seats and have to sit next to each other in Charleston? What if they both lose, and incumbent Delegate Erikka Storch, R-Ohio, ends up sitting next to her Republican running mate -- the colorful Larry Tighe?


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