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Sikora, Beach to square off for Mon Commission seat

MORGANTOWN — It’ll be Sean Sikora vs. Bob Beach in November for the Central District seat on the Monongalia County Commission.

Sikora, the incumbent seeking a second six-year term, came out on top in Tuesday’s Republican primary, picking up 2,664 votes compared to 1,722 for challenger Charles Hartzog.

“I’m just really excited that we’re finally at the general. We have 182 days until the General Election, and I look forward to taking my argument to the people,” Sikora said. “When I ran for this position in 2016, I ran to bring financial accountability to the county, and I ran to bring a more civil commission to the county, and my results over the past six years are undeniable.”

Sikora also thanked Hartzog, a 19-year-old WVU student, for stepping up and running.

“I think it turned out fine. I’m not upset about it. I’m actually quite content,” Hartzog said. “I know this is still a competition, but [Sikora] and I are good friends … I know he’s more experienced. I’ve been talking around a lot, and I know there are people who want a new guy in the office, but a lot of people prefer experience.” 

While Hartzog said he may pursue public office at some point in the future, it’s not something he intends to do long term.

“I’m going to do what George Washington did, try twice and then never try again,” he said. “I don’t believe in making politics a career.”

Now Sikora turns his attention to what promises to be a much stiffer challenge in Beach, who picked up 4,541 votes as the lone commission candidate in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.

Beach brings more than three decades of experience in elected politics to the race, including 10 years as a county commissioner, 10 years in the West Virginia House of Delegates and, most recently, 12 years in the West Virginia Senate.

“I feel like I’m on the inside running as an outsider,” Sikora said. “Because I’m running against somebody who’s an entrenched politician in all senses of the word.”

In other county races, Donna Hidock is well on her way to taking over for her longtime boss, Jean Friend, in the Monongalia County Circuit Clerk’s Office.

Hidock, a Democrat, was unopposed in Tuesday’s primary for circuit clerk, garnering 4,257 votes. She has no Republican challenger in November.

Friend, the state’s longest serving clerk, has held the position since 1960.

Likewise, Democrat Carye Blaney picked up 4,585 votes Tuesday in an unopposed primary for Monongalia County Clerk.

Blaney, who has served as county clerk since 2007, also has no Republican challenger in the upcoming general election.

According to unofficial election totals, 10,953 of the county’s 60,383 registered voters (18.14%) cast ballots in Tuesday’s primary.

All vote totals are unofficial until certified through the canvassing process.

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