There was an election last night, and while some things turned out exactly as expected, there were a few surprises in there as well. As expected West Virginia supported republican candidate for president Mitt Romney. In the U.S. Senate race incumbent Senator Joe Manchin defeated Morgantown businessman John Raese. Manchin had 61% of the vote in that contest. All three members of the U.S. House won reelection, including Second District Congresswoman Shelly Moore Capito. She defeated democrat Howard Swint 70% to 30%. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin will serve a full term after once again beating republican Bill Maloney. Secretary of State Natalie Tennant won handily against republican challenger Brian Savilla. Auditor Glen Gainer III edged the Eastern Panhandle's Larry Faircloth by almost 90,000 votes. Treasurer John Perdue weathered the storm against republican Mike Hall. And democrat Walt Helmick defeated Republican Kent Leonhardt for West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture.
The big state wide change came in the race for Attorney General. Democrat Darrell McGraw hjas served as AG since 1992. He was unseated last night by republican Patrick Morrisey, a resident of Jefferson County. Morrisey won 51% to 49% with a margin of about 16,000 votes.
Incumbent Robin Davis will return to the West Virginia Supreme Court. Republican
Allen Loughry won a seat as well. Eastern Panhandle judge John Yoder came in third but did not get enough votes for a place on the state's high court.
Craig Blair the Republican candidate for the 15th District won against constitution party candidate Daniel Litten. In the 16th District Democrat Herb Snyder defeated republican Jim Ruland. An unofficial count by MetroNews shows the GOP picked up 11 seats in the 100 member House yesterday. The count now is 54 Democrats and 46 Republicans. Republicans won 7 of 10 single member district seats in the Eastern Panhandle, including the new 63rd and 66th Districts with wins by Mike Folk and Paul Espinosa. Democrat Tiffany Lawrence retained her seat in the 65th district against a republican challenge in Jill Upson. Incumbent republican delegate Walter Duke lost to democratic new comer Jason Barrett in the 61st district. Democrat Stephen Skinner defeated Elliott Simon in the 66th.
Berkeley County Council woman Elaine Mauck was elected to a full term last night along with fellow republican Jim Barnhart. Democrat Mark Barney came in third in that race. Meanwhile democratic Jefferson County Commissioner Frances Morgan lost in a rematch against republican Jane Tabb. Berkeley County Sheriff Kenny Lemaster and Jefferson County Sheriff Bobby Shirley were each elected for second terms. And Larry Hess won the assessor’s office in Berkeley County. Angie Banks won the job in Jefferson County.