Brooke County residents interested in tossing their hats into the political ring by announcing their candidacy in the state's May 8 primary election may do so by filing for federal, state or county offices this month.
The filing period has begun and continues through Jan. 28, and candidates may file for state or federal offices through the Secretary of State's office up to midnight on the final date.
Those interested in filing for public offices in Hancock County may do so at the county clerk's office between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8:30 a.m. and midnight on Jan. 28.
Those interested in filing for Brooke County offices may do so at the county clerk's office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. and noon each Saturday up to Jan. 28. For information, call (304) 737-3661.
State filing information may be obtained by visiting the Secretary of State's Web site at www.wvsos.gov or by calling (866) SOS-VOTES.
Many key federal, state and county positions will be on the ballots in the election and in the Nov. 6 general election.
They include one seat each in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, a seat representing Hancock, Brooke and part of Ohio County in the state Senate; two seats representing the 1st Delegate District, which includes Hancock County and a portion of Brooke County, in the state House of Delegates; and a seat representing the 2nd Delegate District, which includes Brooke and a portion of Ohio County, in the state House of Delegates.
One of two seats previously representing the 2nd Delegate District was eliminated in August when the state Legislature redistricted the state to reflect changes in population. The 1st Senatorial District also was expanded to include part of Marshall County.
Among Brooke County offices to be filled through the elections are two seats on the county commission. One, to be filled by a resident of the Follansbee Magisterial District, was slated to come up in this election year.
The other came open with the death of Bernie Kazienko in December and must be filled by a resident of the Wellsburg Magisterial District.
The filing fee for those declaring their candidacy for Brooke County commissioner is $349.80.
Other Brooke County offices that will appear on ballots and their filing fees are: two county magistrates,$575; two seats on the county school board, $25 each; prosecuting attorney, $900; sheriff, $435.60; surveyor, $10; and conservation district supervisor, $10.
Candidates for the school board may be from any of Brooke County's three magisterial districts, but the board may not have more than two residents of the same district.
Conservation districts are charged by the state legislature with conserving natural resources, controlling floods, preventing impairment of dams and reservoirs, assisting in maintaining the navigability of rivers and harbors, conserving wildlife and protecting public lands.
The Northern Panhandle Conservation District board is made up of two representatives of each of four counties: Hancock, Brooke, Ohio and Marshall. In 2009 conservation district supervisers became elected, instead of appointed, positions.
The elections also will determine men and women to serve on the district, county and state executive committees of the Brooke and Hancock county Democratic and Republican parties.
The filing fees for the volunteer positions are $5 for the district committees, $10 for the county committees and $25 for the state committees.
Residents planning to vote in the primary election have until April 17 to register in their respective counties. The deadline to apply for absentee ballots is May 2.
The county and others in West Virginia also will offer early voting, allowing residents to cast their ballots at the county courthouses between April 25 and May 5, and no excuse is required. For hours and other information, call (304) 737-3661.
(Scott can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)