By Tina Alvey
With ballot canvasses now complete in all three counties represented by the two delegates in the 42nd district, the election night projections of wins by Republicans Ray Canterbury and George “Boogie” Ambler have been confirmed.
When provisional ballots were counted this week, both men widened their leads in the race for the newly constituted 42nd, which includes nearly all of Greenbrier County, plus three precincts in Monroe and one — Pence Springs — in Summers.
Although Canterbury’s re-election to the House of Delegates was assured on election night, Ambler’s 129-vote lead over Democrat Steve Hunter left room for the second seat to hinge on the more than 200 provisional ballots that remained for the canvass.
Greenbrier’s was the final canvass to be completed out of the three counties comprising the 42nd district.
The as-yet uncertified results show Canterbury with 7,285 Greenbrier votes, 402 in Monroe and 144 in Summers, for a total of 7,831. Ambler garnered 5,050 Greenbrier votes, 357 Monroe and 149 Summers, for a total of 5,556. Hunter’s Greenbrier total was 5,006, with 286 in Monroe and 113 in Summers, for a total of 5,405; and Democrat Glenn Singer received 4,861 Greenbrier votes, 228 in Monroe and 101 in Summers, for a 5,190-vote total.
Greenbrier County Clerk Robin Loudermilk said she expects her county’s election results to be certified by the Secretary of State’s office Monday.
On election night, Canterbury said, “I am honored (and) humbled by the confidence the voters have shown in me.”
Ambler did not immediately return a phone call Thursday seeking comment on his victory.
Although he lost the race for the district’s second seat by only 151 votes, Hunter said he will not ask for a recount.
“I had never planned to ask for a recount, and I won’t do it now,” he said in a telephone interview with The Register-Herald at the conclusion of Greenbrier’s canvass Thursday afternoon.
Hunter said he felt a spate of negative campaign material mailed by a political action committee based in Charleston had an impact on the local race.
“There’s no question in my mind the negative campaign did have an impact,” Hunter said. “Just look at the number of straight Republican tickets that were voted in Greenbrier County. The Democrats either stayed home or voted Republican.”
In Greenbrier County, where more than twice as many voters are registered Democrat as Republican, straight Republican ballots were cast in the general election by 1,353 voters, compared to 1,323 straight Democratic tickets.
Despite the loss, Hunter said he is ready to leave the campaign trail behind and get back to work in his Lewisburg law office.
Before the election, both Canterbury and Ambler distanced themselves from the tactics employed by the organization calling itself WV House PAC. Canterbury went so far as paying for an advertisement in a local publication condemning the PAC’s mailings.
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