Saffer elected to county commission, incumbents returned in other races
In a race that pitted former political foes against each other again and threw a write-in into the mix, the Democrat candidate came out with the majority of the votes.
Martin Saffer, an attorney, will fill the Southern District seat come January.
ﾓI want to say that this is a 4-H evening for me. Iﾒm, one,ﾠ very happy I won the election. Two, Iﾒm honored by the support I received from the voters and people who supported me in the campaign. Three, Iﾒm very hopeful about the countyﾒs future and four, I know thereﾒs a lot of hard work ahead for me and for the community to achieve the goalsﾠ that I think are very, very possible for us,ﾔ Saffer said.
The commissioner elect said he wanted to reconcile the ﾓhuge problem with the Snowshoe sewer project and the Sharp Farm.ﾔ
ﾓThat has got to be a first priority,ﾔ he said. Saffer said he had already talked to people about a possible resolution.
Beyond that, he said, he wants to meet with people in each community, with the people who want to participate, community and business leaders to see how they envision the countyﾒs future. He said he also wants to work on the idea of establishing a community college in Pocahontas County.
ﾓI want you to tell me what you want to do,ﾔ he said.
Saffer said he wanted to learn about the budget and begin talking to sitting commissioners Reta Griffith and James Carpenter about his role on the commission.
ﾓI want to, hopefully, have them embrace some of the visions I think are really possible for the county,ﾔ he said.
Saffer said he wanted to elevate the commissionﾒs position in the county as true leaders. ﾓThatﾒs what I want to explore with them.ﾔ
Alderman was not aware of the election results and was brief in his comments.
ﾓI congratulate him,ﾔ Alderman said.
Simmons was at the court house, and said she would make an attempt again in six years.
Saffer defeated the man who once defeated him, Norman Alderman, who got 681 votes. Alderman was the county commissioner from the southern district until 1994.
Saffer got 50.86% of the cast ballots; 157 voters did not cast a vote in this race.
Write-in candidate Linda Simmons made a decent showing with 21.39% of the vote in the first general election with electronic ballots.
Pocahontas County voters supported incumbents in all other races. U. S. Senator Robert C. Byrd and Nick Rahall got the confidence vote from Pocahontas County voters, the state and district, while Walt Helmick will return to the Statehouse, along with Bill Hartman and Bill Proudfoot.
The levies to support the senior citizens program was defeated by a margin of 312 votes.
Griffith, who sits on the senior citizens board of directors, said she wasnﾒt sure what would happen to the seniorsﾒ funding now; however, cuts of 5% are a sure thing from federal dollars, after 15%ﾠ cuts in recent years. Federal funds are senior programs' largest source of funding.
ﾓWeﾒll have to look and see what needs to be done,ﾔ she said.
The board meets later this month, she said.