Recount affirms victory for Davis

NEW CUMBERLAND, W.Va. — Nearly a week after a recount was requested on account of the razor-thin results from the Hancock County commissioner’s race, the outcome remained the same.

On Wednesday, Democratic incumbent commissioner Jeff Davis was declared the winner over Republican challenger Tommy Ogden following a recount done by the county elections boar, with Davis winning by 10 votes, 5,064 to 5,054.

Davis, who has served on the commission since 2001, will start his fourth six-year term with this commission this January.

“This election, like any election, is like a rollercoaster,” Davis said. “You go through a lot of emotions, and then when you get down to a race that 10 to 12 votes, down eight, then up 10, you got a lot go through your mind, but it was a great campaign by both candidates. I ran a nice campaign, and I’m just happy I prevailed in the election.”

“I knew beating an 18-year incumbent was going to be difficult, but I really believed I had a good shot,” Ogden said. “I felt my platform resonated with a lot of people, and I think we had a high midterm turnout, but it just wasn’t meant to be. I saw Jeff (Wednesday) and I congratulated him and offered him my support.”

The recount was requested by Ogden after additional provisional ballots were cast in a canvass held at the elections office on Nov. 13, which resulted in the same number of votes for both candidates as did Wednesday’s recount. By law, a candidate can challenge the results within 48 hours of the state attorney general receiving the canvass results.

Ogden said he asked for the recount because of closeness of the race and also, “I thought I owed it to myself and my supporters to see this through.” He also said he enjoyed the election process as well as his visits during his campaign.

“I’ve really enjoyed the election process,” Ogden said. “I’ve met so many great people in Hancock County. I wouldn’t change a thing.”

The canvass result, however, was a reversal of the outcome from the Nov. 6 general election, which showed Ogden–the co-owner of home improvement store Builders Wholesale–had defeated Davis by an even-narrower eight-vote margin, 5,022 to 5,014, although those were unofficial results that evening.

Ogden said that now with the election over, he will look to keep busy over the next few months with some projects he had planned, and might consider another run for office down the road.

Meanwhile, as he starts his fourth term in January, “I want to continue on our water and sewer projects. That’s been my number one goal since I took office,” Davis said. “The other important thing is obtaining grants to improve our courthouse facility and any of the county facilities as far as that goes. Anywhere we can save money, that’s great and that’s what I going to continue to look for.”

Davis also commended the staff at the board of elections on their efforts with the recount and being able to finish the process before the Thanksgiving holiday. The courthouse will be closed until Monday.

“They can go home and enjoy the holiday now,” Davis said.