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Kanawha Legislature races: Robinson becomes Dem nominee for Palumbo's seat; incumbent Bartlett ousted

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Two Democrats competed in Tuesday’s primary to replace Sen. Corey Palumbo, D-Kanawha, who isn’t seeking reelection to the state Senate seat he’s held for 12 years.

The winner of the Democratic nomination Tuesday was Andrew Robinson, who has served in the House of Delegates since 2017 and is a real estate broker, appraiser and auctioneer. He got 9,127 votes.

The loser was Jon Hague, a former human resources specialist for the state who now works for Cisco Webex. He got 3,121 votes.

Robinson will go up against Eric Nelson, the sole Republican to file in that party’s primary, in the general election in November.

He’s been a delegate since 2011 and served four years as chairman of the powerful House Finance Committee.

The senatorial district they’re vying for is the 17th. It includes roughly all of Kanawha County south of the Kanawha River from the Putnam County line to Charleston, and then includes roughly all the area south of the Elk River as it winds its way east to the Clay County line.

Here are the other Kanawha legislative races voted on Tuesday, with results from all Kanawha precincts, plus other precincts in multi-county districts, reporting:

Senate District 8:

Sen. Glenn Jeffries was unopposed in the Democratic primary as he seeks reelection. He’ll face Kathie Hess Crouse, who’s unopposed in the Republican primary, in the general election.

This district includes all of Kanawha that’s not in the 17th District, plus the part of Putnam east of the Kanawha.

House District 32:

Three delegates can represent this district, which includes all of Fayette County and small pieces of four other counties. All it represents of Kanawha is a speck that includes Montgomery.

All three incumbents are seeking reelection.

In the Democratic primary, incumbent Margaret Ann Staggers (4,023 votes) ran alongside Mark Hurt (3,056), Randy Halsey (2,528) and Selina Vickers (3,013).

In the Republican primary, incumbents Kayla Kessinger (3,079) and Tom Fast (2,768) ran alongside Austin Simms (1,607) and Austin Haynes (2,490).

On each side, the fourth place candidate couldn’t advance to the general, so Simms and Halsey are seemingly out — however, the results for the small Nicholas County piece of this district weren’t available by publication time.

House District 35:

Four delegates can represent this district, which is mostly a swath of land just south of the Kanawha River, including South Hills, South Charleston and St. Albans, but also including Dunbar to the river’s north.

Two of the four incumbents aren’t seeking reelection to the House: Nelson is going for the Senate seat and Andrew Byrd isn’t seeking reelection.

In the Democratic primary, incumbent Doug Skaff Jr. (6,909) ran alongside Kathy Ferguson (4,626), Patti Hamilton (3,661), Rusty Williams (3,971), Kayla Young (4,877), Devon Joseph Casey (1,448), Angi Kerns (1,904) and Tim Halloran (2,718).

In the Republican primary, incumbent Moore Capito (5,636) ran alongside Brady Campbell (2,709), Trevor Morris (3,010), Larry Pack (3,463) and Chris Stansbury (3,758).

Only the top four on each side could advance to the general, so Campbell, Casey, Hamilton, Kerns and Halloran are out.

House District 36:

Three delegates can represent this district, which includes most of southern Kanawha.

Democrats currently hold all three seats. Two of the three incumbents are seeking reelection to the House, while the third, Robinson, is seeking the Senate seat.

In the Democratic primary, incumbents Larry Rowe (4,989) and Amanda Estep-Burton (2,961) ran alongside Jim Barach (2,396), Clint Casto (1,093), James Elam (942), Amber Ferrell (2,166) and Edgar Allen Poe Jr. (1,213).

In the Republican primary, Eric Young (1,167), Stevie Thaxton (1,533), Amanda Davis (1,220), Chris Walters (1,517), Bill Johnson (791), Chris Pritt (2,454) and John Luoni (1,218) ran.

Only the top three on each side could advance to the general, so Johnson, Young, Luoni, Casto, Elam, Ferrell and Poe are out.

House District 37:

Only one delegate can represent this district, which includes Charleston’s East End and West Side.

Incumbent Democrat Mike Pushkin is seeking reelection, and he is almost assured victory in November because no Republicans filed to run.

House District 38:

Only one delegate can represent this district, which includes Cross Lanes, part of Nitro and part of eastern Putnam County.

Incumbent Dianna Graves faced no opposition in the GOP primary in her quest for reelection.

In the Democratic primary, Nikki Ardman (708) advances to the general after beating Dayton Beard (371), James “Sammy” Dalton (428) and Nick Withrow (500).

House District 39:

Only one delegate can represent this district, which includes part of northern Kanawha bordering Putnam, Jackson and Roane counties, including Sissonville.

Incumbent Republican T. Kevan Bartlett (947), who sponsored the successful Bible-in-public-schools law this year, lost to Dana Ferrell (1,271) in the GOP primary, so Ferrell will face David “Woody” Holmes, the only Democrat to file, in November.

House District 40:

Only one delegate can represent this district, which includes part of eastern Kanawha starting with Coonskin Park and including a swath of land north and south of the Elk River up to the Roane and Clay county lines.

Incumbent Republican Dean Jeffries is seeking reelection, and he is almost assured victory in November because no Democrats filed to run.

Reach Ryan Quinn at

ryan.quinn@wvgazettemail.com, facebook.com/ryanedwinquinn, 304-348-1254 or follow

@RyanEQuinn on Twitter.