Parties seek to fill Six vacancy

PARKERSBURG – With Wood County Clerk Jamie Six stepping down at the end of July, representatives from the local Democratic and Republican parties are looking at who could eventually be elected to fill the post next year.

Last week, Six announced he was stepping down from the post of county clerk, effective July 31. Six, who has served in the position for 26 years, wanted to devote more time to his family and other interests.

The county commission will be appointing a replacement for Six. Because he is a Democrat, the appointment will also be a Democrat.

The appointment would be to 2014. In January, anyone interested in running could file to run for the office and a special election for the position would be held through the regular election process.

Whoever wins would become clerk for the next two years for the remainder of Six’s current term in office. In 2016 the office will be on the ballot again for a full six-year term.

Six has said he will recommend deputy clerk Mark Rhodes to the county commission as his replacement at the clerk’s post. The commission is expected to make its decision soon.

Leaders for the local Republican and Democratic parties have said no one has stepped forward yet to express an interest in eventually running for the position.

”It is still too early to tell,” Wood County Democratic Party Chairwoman Jane Burdette said. ”Right now, Mark is a good candidate to fill the position.”

In addition to his knowledge of the day-to-day operations of the County Clerk’s office, Rhodes has a lot of experience working on the elections and with the computer systems in that office, Burdette said.

”He is very well qualified,” Burdette said.

It is not known if Rhodes plans to eventually run for the position.

Burdette said everyone was caught offguard by Six’s announcement and people haven’t had time to really react.

”No one else has stepped forward yet,” she said.

The Republican Party has not had anyone come forward with an interest in running, said Wood County Republican Party Chairman Greg Smith.

”No one has approached me yet,” he said.

Traditionally, the Republicans have tried to have a candidate for every position during an election, Smith said. Because the election for county clerk will take place within the normal election cycle when other positions will be sought after, Smith believes someone will run.

”I can tell you that we will have a candidate,” he said.

It is still early and it is a big decision for someone to decide to run for a countywide office, Smith said. Usually, people considering a run will want to make the official announcement on their own terms when they are ready to do so, he added.

Smith expects there will eventually be quite a race for the position.

”When May rolls around (for the primary election), we will probably have more candidates than we will know what to do with,” he said.