NEW CUMBERLAND - Hancock County voters want six more years of Jeff Davis.
The Democratic incumbent coasted to victory Tuesday in his race for a third term on the Hancock County Commission, where he currently serves as president.
Unofficial results from the office of Hancock County Clerk Eleanor Straight showed Davis defeating Republican challenger Mark Tetrault by a vote of 7,944 to 3,630 late Tuesday.
The results, from all 25 precincts in Hancock County reporting, will be certified after the canvass at 9 a.m. Monday.
"I'm very thankful that my friends in Hancock County have chosen to re-elect me to my third term," Davis said. "I appreciate their confidence in the job I have done."
Davis, 49, of New Cumberland, is a small-business owner who has occupied the commissioner's seat for 12 years. He previously served for four years in the West Virginia House of Delegates.
In his campaign for re-election, Davis stressed his and his fellow commissioners' oversight of the county's finances, especially the establishment of a rainy day fund, a long-term capital improvement fund and a special projects fund.
Davis said that in the next six years, he will focus on relocating the Hancock County Health Department and the Office of Emergency Management/911 Dispatch Center. Both offices will be moving away from downtown New Cumberland to a new complex on state Route 2.
In his campaign, political newcomer Tetrault, a former jockey, took commissioners to task for taking Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort to court over unpaid hotel occupancy taxes. Tetrault, 52, of New Manchester, said the litigation ultimately will hurt Hancock County's business climate.
"Our elected officials should be working to attract businesses and jobs to our area," Tetrault said. "We need to find ways to entice businesses, not introduce taxes or litigation that make it increasingly difficult to do business in our fine county."
Tetrault, an oil-and-gas landman, also said commissioners should be more aggressive in pursuing gas drilling opportunities for Hancock County, which, unlike other Northern Panhandle counties, has had only one hydraulically-fractured gas well. By comparison, Brooke County to the south has had 67 oil and gas wells permitted since Jan. 11, 2011.
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