Elections, Government

Preston County Sheriff


Arnold Tichnell 

Democrat Arnold Tichnell  is unopposed in the primary election for Preston County Sheriff. Information on him will be included in the general election The Dominion Post Voter’s Guide.


Joel Gordon
Joel E. Gordon

Joel E. Gordon

Age: 60

Residence: Masontown

Education: Law and Public Policy designated Towson Maryland High School, Class of 1977. Graduate of the Baltimore City Police Academy. I have successfully completed numerous college level and professional development continuing education courses, including important practical application specialties such as budgetary process, grant writing, narcotics demand reduction and crime prevention. I make it a point to learn new things each and every day.

Political and civic experience: I am a first-time candidate for elected office. As a licensed amateur radio operator/club recording secretary I have participated in many voluntary public service events. During my time as Kingwood Police chief, as a certified instructor, I volunteered my time as a substitute Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) instructor for the Preston County Schools. I am a past president of the local Business Builders Chapter of Business Network International and an NRA member.

Professional experience: I am a former Baltimore City police officer, Alpine Lake Resort general manager, Kingwood Police chief, vice chair of a regional narcotics and violent crime task force, and security consultant. I am author of the book “Still Seeking Justice: One Officer’s Story.” I am currently a regular contributor and an associate editor for the nationally recognized law enforcement publication The Blue Magazine (The Independent Voice of Law Enforcement thebluemagazine.com).

Campaign statement: I am your change candidate. Over 28 years having resided in Terra Alta, Kingwood, Tunnelton and Masontown, I understand the needs of our communities. I will work toward meeting National Accreditation standards and establishment of a volunteer reserve deputy unit. Our mission and motto will be Partners in Safety. We will tackle the problems that plague our county head on with renewed partnerships with federal, state and regional partners. I will vigorously defend our Constitution.

Top priorities: We must tackle our drug and addiction crisis with outreach and demand reduction initiatives in addition to prosecution. Unsolved criminal cases need a thorough review. Community deputy assignments and volunteer civilian action recommendation teams will allow us to utilize our knowledge and resources together in the best ways possible. With proper prioritization, efficient use of talent, grant funding and professional best-practice implementation we will ensure a reduction in criminal activity for a better tomorrow.

Jason Peaslee headshot
Jason Peaslee

Jason Peaslee 

Age: 43

Residence: Kingwood

Education:  1995 graduate of Preston High School, graduate of East Coast School of Auctioneering and numerous vocational training classes regarding work with instant growth.  Those include safety and emergency response, just to name a few.

Political and civic experience: Kingwood Lodge #90 former YPO member.

Professional experience:   I am the owner and active manager of Instant Growth Hydroseeding.  I started the company in 2006 and have built the company to over 70 employees and manage a large and complex budget.  I know what it takes to manage complex budgets and motivate individuals to work.  Since the inception, I have been personally involved in all aspects, even site visits, for all of the company’s contracts.  I am active in everything I do.

Campaign statement:  My statement is simple, #takingbackprestoncounty.  We have assembled some of the brightest minds in law enforcement and created an incredible platform of action points I am confident my administration can accomplish.  I don’t want to make a promise I can’t deliver on.  Our county is in dire need of a change, and I believe an individual like me, willing to surround himself by a team of accomplished advisors, will deliver the change we all desire.

Top Priorities:  I have many, but the three main are the same no matter what any naysayer will attempt to argue.  My administration will obtain justice for Buckie, we will perform a narcotics roundup unlike anything this county has seen, and we will increase visibility and response in all communities inside our county.  Everything starts from the top down and as sheriff; our community will see me working with all of my deputies on a daily basis.

Paul Moe Pritt Headshot
Paul “Moe” Pritt

Paul “Moe” Pritt

Age: 49 

Residence: Terra Alta 

Education: East Preston Senior High,  1988  graduate;
Fairmont State University,  1992, B.S. in criminal justice, minor political science;  
West Virginia State Police Academy,  1994, certified law enforcement officer;
law enforcement instructor in pistol, rifle, shotgun, radar/lidar, pepper spray, expandable    batons. Over 700-plus annual in-service credit hours training in criminal investigations, policy,   management, law enforcement oversight as well as liability, budget and human resources and other policing aspects. 

Political and civic experience: I was offered and accepted the position of chief deputy and have      served in that role since Jan. 1, 2013. I have been a youth league coach and board member for over 20 years, coaching T-ball, Little League baseball as well as Little League and pony league girls’ fast pitch softball. I am currently the girls’ fast pitch softball head coach at Preston High, a role I took last year after being a volunteer coach.

Professional experience: A life-long resident, I have been a police officer in Preston County over      26 years. I have trained numerous officers, have investigated serious crimes from murder and sexual assault to as minor as traffic offenses and shoplifting. As chief deputy, I assure accountability and appropriate response to reported crimes as well as seeing that matters are thoroughly investigated for successful prosecutions, while being fiscally      responsible and using personnel efficiently to cover the county. 

Campaign statement: My goal is continuity in having an efficient, accountable, successful law      enforcement agency that aggressively attacks those that prey on our citizens. Continuation of efforts that have resulted in over 130 felony drug arrests and seizure of over $90,000 in cash and assets, as well as proactive patrol by all deputies leading to reduction and  solving      crimes like burglaries and breaking and entering incidents, reducing from  210 in 2012 to less than 65 in 2019.

Top priorities: If elected, I will see that the office operates in an efficient, fiscally responsible manner, holding employees accountable for actions, see that the sheriff’s office functions are carried out in accordance with law. Will be fair, impartial and professional in all dealings with the public and      represent Preston County and its citizens equally. Will be accessible to      all citizens and work with all local, state and federal entities to reduce crime and curb drug dealing and usage.