Current Summers County Commission President Jack David Woodrum, a Republican, said his comfortable win over Democrat Bill Laird in the W.Va. Senate 10th District race was primarily rooted in one particular area.
"It appears to be a very good year for Republicans," Woodrum said last Tuesday night. The key for him and other Republican candidates is that "West Virginians have pushed back against the policies of the Democrat party."
Woodrum and Laird, a veteran legislator, were battling to replace Sen. Kenny Mann, R-Monroe, who chose not to seek another term.
District 10 covers all of Fayette, Greenbrier, Summers and Monroe counties.
In unofficial tallies from the four-county area, Woodrum amassed 25,191 votes (58.58 percent) compared to 17,812 (41.42 percent) for Laird. In Woodrum's home county of Summers, he secured 3,976 votes, while Laird got 1,466 there. In Laird's home base of Fayette, the former state senator and House of Delegates member rang up 8,971 votes, but Woodrum hung tough with 7,190.
Monroe went 4,501 to 1,626 for Woodrum, and Greenbrier went 9,524 to 5,749, also for Woodrum.
A Hinton native, Woodrum has a background that includes 25 years in funeral service as a licensed funeral director, embalmer, funeral pre-planning consultant, cosmetician and restorative art specialist, according to his campaign website. He is also a licensed real estate salesperson and pyrotechnic operator.
According to the website, Woodrum has "worked tirelessly on local, state and federal legislation, along with education, infrastructure and economic development issues."
Tuesday night, he said he had "an exciting evening" as the results rolled in. The campaign, win or lose, has "really been a blessing."
Woodrum said, first and foremost, he realizes he will have to help his new colleagues in Charleston tackle looming redistricting issues. He also said he wants to concentrate on improving broadband access in the state, and another main goal is to further his work on a key goal to improve regional trails systems, first non-motorized, then motorized.
Laird's lengthy public service background included four terms as Fayette County sheriff, and he previously served in the W.Va. Senate for eight years (2008-16) before opting not to seek re-election. He also served two terms in the W.Va. House of Delegates (1996-2000) and was a Fayette County magistrate.
Following the vote canvass, Woodrum ended up with 25,315 votes (58.59 percent) to Laird's 17,895 (41.41 percent).
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