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Hunter Thomas wins Preston Commission primary

KINGWOOD — Hunter Thomas won the Republican Primary Election and will likely be the next Preston County Commissioner in January.

“It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, because you put in all that work, and you don’t know what the outcome is gonna be,” Thomas said of his campaign. “And I just want to thank everyone that got out and voted. All my supporters that got out and voted and believed in me, because, you know, I’m young, but I’ve put the work in, and I’m just thankful for it.”

He faced three opponents, Kevin Fike, Duane Bishoff and Tim Moore. They received 961, 1,020, and 360 votes, respectively. Thomas had 2,103 votes.

“I think whoever wins [the Primary Election] is going to be the next commissioner,” said Commissioner Dave Price, who decided to retire and whose District 1 seat will be filled by Thomas.

As it stands, Thomas will not face a Democratic opponent in November’s General Election because no Democrat registered. Price said it’s possible for one to be nominated by the Democratic Committee but he doesn’t know if that will happen.

No matter who succeeds him in January, Price has some advice.

First, remember the commission is made up of three equal partners, and you won’t always get your way.

Second, be clear about what is important to you. Price, for example, has been a vocal supporter of fire, EMS and law enforcement during his tenure. He said those services matter to everyone in the county, while a lot of what the commission does helps just this group or that.

“And so everybody knew that that’s where I was coming from and I was gonna push on that,” he said.

Third, remember what’s required by code. Some things just have to be funded, Price said. Money is tight, so take care of those things first.

Fourth, be available to talk to people. Commissioners are more accessible than ever with the internet. Cell phone numbers for commissioners are posted online. People can and will call seven days a week, Price said.

Finally, remember that things will take longer to get done than you ever thought they should, he said. Many things come with hoops to jump through.

What makes it worth it? The chance to leave the county better than you found it, as cliché as it might seem, Price said.

All vote totals are unofficial until the canvass.

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