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Wood County voters will elect new sheriff in 2022

Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 3:53 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - The Wood County Commission is expected to name an interim sheriff by the end of this month, after Sheriff Steve Stephens Monday announced his retirement.

The process of selecting a more permanent successor will begin after the first of 2022.

Stephens was elected to a second term in November, 2020, and voters in 2022 will elect someone to fill the last two years of that term.

Stephens retirement takes effect December 1. The filing period for next year’s May primary and November election begins January 10 and continues through January 29, according to the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office.

And Wood County Clerk Mark Rhodes says there’s already some interest from potential candidates.

”I’ve heard of two people who actually wanted to be appointed for the position with the intent that they would probably file,” Rhodes said Tuesday. “Actually, one person wants to finish out a term before they retire, and let somebody be elected and not run for the position.”

It’s a familiar process to the Wood County Clerk’s office, who conducted three elections between 2020 and 2012 for U.S. Senator and Governor, after Joe Manchin became the permanent successor to the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd, and Earl Ray Tomblin succeeded Manchin as governor.

More recently, when Carole Jones stepped down as Wood County Circuit Clerk at the beginning of 2020-the election year for that office-Celeste Ridgway was named as her immediate successor. Ridgway filed for, then won election to a full term in that office in November.

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