CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Sally Shepherd, who lost a bid Tuesday to run for Kanawha County commissioner after filing candidacy papers in the wrong office, was added Wednesday to the May primary election ballot as a candidate for House of Delegates.Shepherd, a Democrat, will face longtime Republican Delegate Ron Walters in Kanawha County's 39th District.No Democrat filed to run in the 39th District before the Jan. 25 filing deadline. Kanawha County Democratic Executive Committee Chairman Norris Light had until the end of the day Wednesday to appoint someone to the vacant slot.Jake Glance, spokesman for Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, confirmed Wednesday that Light had asked for Shepherd's name to be placed on the ballot. Walters also has no primary opponent on the ballot.Kanawha County officials are expected to approve the final county ballot for the primary election Thursday.
On Tuesday, Kanawha Circuit Judge Duke Bloom denied a petition from Shepherd to be added to the ballot as a candidate for Kanawha County Commission after Shepherd mistakenly filed candidacy papers for the office at the secretary of state's office. Under state law, candidates for statewide office file at the secretary of state's office, but candidates for county offices must file with their local county clerk.The 39th District covers the Cross Lanes and Sissonville area. Shepherd, who lives on Haines Branch in Sissonville, said rural areas of Kanawha County are being "ignored and underserved" by lawmakers.Shepherd said she helped found the Sissonville Public Library. She is a former chairwoman of the Kanawha County Solid Waste Authority, former president of the Association of West Virginia Solid Waste Authorities and a past president of the West Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Society.In 2012, Shepherd ran for state agriculture commissioner, finishing second among five candidates in the Democratic primary.Reach Rusty Marks at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-1215.