Couch and Kelly led the Republican primaries | News, Sports, Jobs

Incumbent Republican Delegate Bob Fehrenbacher speaks with John Kelly, Republican candidate for Wood County assessor, Tuesday evening at the Wood County Courthouse as the results of the May primary election are in. (Photo by Brett Dunlap)

PARKERSBURG — Incumbent Wood County Commissioner Blair Couch and Assessor candidate John Kelly, a former state delegate, were leading their respective Republican primaries with all 69 precincts counted Tuesday evening.

Couch, who is seeking his fourth term on the commission, led the GOP field with 3,676 votes to Roger Conley’s 2,759. Assessor David Nohe had 2,328 and Roger Whited had 2,201, according to Tuesday night’s unofficial final results for the county commission race.

“I appreciate the voters of Wood County, I am touched by their support and I promise to do my best for them and my family,” Couch said Tuesday evening.

Kelly held a tight lead with 5,193 votes over former Deputy Assessor Andy Hartleben who had 4,941, a difference of 252 votes. The two Republicans are vying for the vacant seat, with Nohe choosing to run for the commission rather than seek another term.

Kelly was happy Tuesday evening with the unofficial results and is looking forward to final certification Monday during canvassing.

“It feels good,” Kelly said. “I want to congratulate Andy. He led a good cleanliness campaign. We both did it. I respect that. He fought with a good campaign. I wish him the best.”

Kelly said if he is certified as the winner, he can’t wait to start building a good team for the assessor’s office. No Democrats ran for the seat so Kelly could enter the November general election unopposed.

Since entering the race, he has been interested in the homestead exemption. It was implemented in 1973 at a cost of $5,000 and increased to $10,000 in 1980 and $20,000 in 1982.

Since then, it has not increased.

“It hasn’t changed since 1982”” Kelly says. “It hasn’t gone up, and yet, by comparison, the appraised value of real estate across the state has skyrocketed. The homestead exemption simply hasn’t kept pace .

“It’s really the only thing I really want to work on.”

Kelly cited his experience in the state Legislature, knowing what needs to happen and what needs to be done to put this to the people’s vote.

Kelly said the two things he wants for the assessor’s office are construction “trust and respect”.

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