Would-be candidates encounter problems when filing in Wyoming County

WYOMING COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – In an attempt to carry out a right nearly every person holds, at least three people tried to file to run for office on January 25.

“It’s a good opportunity for the community,” says Derek Toler, who wants to run for city council. “[It’s a chance to] give them a bit newer blood in there to try to see if anything can be done about the town itself.”

The would-be candidates were shocked to find City Hall empty with the doors locked on what was supposed to be the last day to file paperwork. Disappointed and frustrated, one man filed a complaint with the West Virginia Secretary of State. The office looked in to the incident and quickly solved the problem.

“The town found an ordinance that sets its filing period,” said Donald Kersey, general counsel for the Secretary of State’s office. “The town is going to follow that ordinance as they should have the law, and they’re going to do it fairly. They’re going to make sure every candidate that wants to file has an opportunity to do that.”

The state default candidate calendar says City Hall would have had to stay open on that last day, but a forgotten local ordinance that overrules the default says Oceana’s filing period hadn’t even started at that point. Now, those who filed in January may need to file again to avoid election problems.

“My plan is to go ahead and file and run as I planned to start with,” said Don Morgan, also running for council.

The confusion is expected to be brought up at Thursday’s council meeting. Stay with WOAY for further updates.

Kassie Simmons
Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at ksimmons@woay.com.