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Independent candidate files for Preston County Commissioner

Faces incumbent Don Smith; no Democrat running

KINGWOOD — Friday was the deadline for independent candidates to file for office, and one filed in Preston County.

Lynn Housner is running for Preston County commissioner. He will face incumbent Republican Don Smith in November. There is no Democrat running for the commission.

According to the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office, four political parties are recognized in West Virginia: Democratic, Libertarian, Mountain and Republican.

“To run as a candidate with no party organization and have one’s name placed on the ballot for the general election, an individual must gather signatures on a nominating certificate,” according to the secretary’s candidate information packet.

These candidates have to collect the signatures of registered voters equaling at least 1% of the entire votes cast at the last preceding general election for the office being sought.

For Housner, that meant getting the signatures of 72 registered Preston County voters, because a total of 7,152 ballots were cast in the 2014 county commission race, according to Preston County Clerk Linda Huggins.

“We have to verify that they were registered voters,” the clerk explained. “We had to make sure they were qualified.”

Housner collected more than 72 signatures, Huggins said, but her office only verified the 72 that were needed to file.

No party affiliation candidates are commonly referred to as minor party, unaffiliated or independent candidates.

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Lynn Housner
Lynn Housner is running as an independent candidate for Preston County Commissioner in 2020.