Cowey wins in 3-man commissioner race

NEW CUMBERLAND–A professional photographer from Weirton will be the next Hancock County commissioner.

Paul Rex Cowey III, 54, defeated two opponents Tuesday night by capturing 44 percent of the vote.

Cowey received 5,460 votes, compared to the 4,078 votes for Republican Gregory Baldt and 2,735 votes for independent John Crow, according to unofficial results from the Hancock County Clerk’s Office.

“I look forward to serving the people of Hancock County,” Cowey said. “I look forward to serving the county with honesty and integrity.”

Cowey credited God, the voters and an active campaign for his victory. When he assumes office in January, Cowey said he will spend time learning about the office and using the office to foster economic growth for the county.

He has been a regular face at county commission meetings since announcing his candidacy early in the year.

Although he lives in Weirton, Cowey grew up in Chester and graduated from Oak Glen High School in 1979. He has been a county election commissioner for the past four elections and serves on the board of Jefferson County Christian School in Wintersville, Ohio.

Baldt, a retired chiropractor, was an active Donald Trump supporter and a West Virginia delegate to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

Crow entered the race in July when he filed as an independent candidate.

Cowey, the son of former Chester mayor Rex Cowey, will succeed Commissioner Mike Swartzmiller, who is leaving office after 12 years. The commissioner serves for six years.

With his wife, Cowey is the proprietor of Kathleen & Paul’s Portrait Gallery in Weirton.