MORGANTOWN — Morgantown City Council newcomers Patrick Hathaway (1st Ward), Ixya Vega (3rd Ward), Danielle Trumble (5th Ward) and Brian Butcher (7th Ward) got the support of the city’s voters during Tuesday’s municipal election, as did a referendum doubling the length of council terms.
The four new faces will join incumbents Bill Kawecki (2nd Ward), Jenny Selin (4th Ward) and Dave Harshbarger (6th Ward) when the next iteration of council convenes July 1.
Those three incumbents will be the first councilors to serve four-year terms in Morgantown as voters backed a referendum — voting 945 for and 495 against — doubling term lengths from two to four years and staggering elections so that no more than four councilors are up for election at once.
In the contested races, voters had the choice of two write-in candidates in the 3rd Ward. Vega secured the seat with 512 votes to Paul Liller’s 400.
“I grew up in an immigrant household, so this is a dream for my family. This is something that we never expected could happen to us,” Vega said, noting she was thankful for the support of the Morgantown Can’t Wait political organization.
Vega and Butcher were two of three candidates backed by the group, which is part of the larger West Virginia Can’t Wait formed around Stephen Smith’s failed 2020 gubernatorial run.
Trumble won big in the 5th Ward, securing 754 votes to 366 for Tony Setley and 312 for Marly Ynigues.
Trumble said she felt like the 5th Ward race remained positive and focused on the issues.
“I’m just very proud that the people of Morgantown have selected me to be their representative on council,” she said. “I very much look forward to representing the city has a whole and continuing the hard work I’ve been doing for a number of years.”
In the 7th Ward, Butcher tallied 804 votes to Ben Mayle’s 606.
“I’m really excited that we got to win the seat. We worked really hard to get the voter turnout tonight. It was definitely not what we expected as far as voter turnout,” Butcher said. “But we’re glad it went in our favor.”
While there were no statistics available Tuesday regarding Election Day turnout, the election’s top total went to Selin, who garnered 1,043 votes in an unopposed bid.
The city had 567 votes cast during early voting.
Kawecki, also unopposed, had the next highest total, with 1,031.
Harshbarger received 975 votes while write-in challenger Jay Redmond received 386.
Hathaway, unopposed on the ballot, received 900 votes compared to the 369 received by write-in challenger Seth Collins.
All results are unofficial until canvassing is completed. That process will be conducted at 10 a.m. Monday.