Preston swears in new commissioner

KINGWOOD — Preston’s newest county commissioner was sworn in Wednesday.
Republican Samantha Stone beat out seven others for the spot vacated by Craig Jennings, who chose not to seek a third six-year term.
The ceremony at the Preston County Courthouse was attended by many of Stone’s supporters. Preston Circuit Judge Steve Shaffer swore Stone in. Shaffer described Stone as a hard worker and joked with her about the cupcakes — more than 3,500, she estimated — that Stone made and gave out, during her campaign.
Shaffer predicted Stone will do, “a fantastic job.”
“Any time that anything great has happened in my life … I’ve always felt that there’s been nudges in my life from God,” Stone said.
She asked her pastor, Rick Sharpless, to speak at the ceremony. He spoke on unity and perseverance, two things Stone told him were on her heart.
The campaign opened her eyes to many things, Stone said. “It’s easy to stay in our bubble and not know and not be aware, but when we make the choice to take off the blinders and see things through others’ eyes, we then realize that it was enough to make the changes so that we can move forward with everything.”
As a county commissioner, “I know that working together with the other county commissioners and everyone in this room and the people who couldn’t be here today and all of the government officials … I know without a doubt that we can progress further in this county,” Stone said.
“It’s not always going to be easy, but it’s totally going to be worth it,” she said. “I’m giving up myself as a servant to all of Preston County.”
After the ceremony, the crowd went outside, where Stone had the opportunity to pick people to ring the149-year-old bell that once adorned the courthouse.
She elected to have her three sons — Carson, 12, and 9-year-old twins Kenley and Kaleb — ring it as representative of all the children in Preston County; her husband, Kevin Stone; her parents, Robert and Carol Dixon; and fellow Commissioners Dave Price and Don Smith, “because we need to be in sync,” before ringing the bell herself.
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