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Published:November 9th, 2006 10:47 EST
Monogalia County Voters Speak Up

Monogalia County Voters Speak Up

By Stacey Smith

  Monongalia County, West Virginia will be sending a new face to Charleston to represent them in the House of Delegates this January. The 44th District elected new comer Alex Shook to the House. Shook is a Morgantown lawyer and a Democrat.

Despite claims made earlier in the year that Shook was a member of the Dirty Dozen, candidates who receive financial backing from personal injury lawyers, Shook was able to lead the 44th District with 10,126 votes.

The W.Va. Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (WV CALA) accused Shook of being at the top of their Dirty Dozen list. This list is a group of candidates who receive money from lawyers who deal with personal injury suits. The WV CALA believes that this enhances the state`s already known reputation for harboring massive personal injury suits.

Possibly Shook`s success can be lead to his party affiliation. The Democrats swept the 44th District.

Another winner, Barbara Fleischauer, gained 9,560 votes and also is a new politician. Other winners, Bob Beach and Charlene Marshall, were incumbents to the House and will return to their former seats.

Another incumbent who ran, Cindy Frich, will not be returning to the House in January. Frich, who held office in the House of Delegates for 4 years, was defeated.

Frich came in fifth place and lost by about 1,000 votes to Marshall who had a total of 9,132 votes.

Frich`s Republican Party affiliation may have been what hurt her this election.

In all, Monongalia County had a high voter turnout this election. According to Mike Oliverio, the County Clerk, Monongalia County`s attendance at the polls was higher than average, especially for an off-year election.

About 46 percent of registered voters turned out to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 7. This beat the total for the entire state which ended up at around 40 percent.

All in all, more voters are turning to the polls this year, possibly because of the discontent with Washington officials and policy. More people are getting involved with their government and a change is brewing.