PARSONS, W.Va. — One of the options of democracy is a write-in candidate. If you don’t like the choices the political parties have provided you on Election Day, there’s always the option of writing down the name of one you actually do want in office and casting your vote for them. It’s an exercise in freedom, but it’s usually not very effective.

In Tucker County, Fred Davis changed that in 2018.

“Everybody told me, ‘You can’t win as a write in,'” Davis explained on MetroNews “Talkline.” “They said people are too lazy, they won’t do it. Well. I did it.”

Davis won his write in campaign and secured a seat on the Tucker County Commission Tuesday. Davis started his campaign after he lost by two votes in the May primary to Diane Hinkle. He decided to give it a shot when a lot of friends and supporters encouraged him to run and offered to help him.

“I had a boy who graduated with me and he painted my signs. A carpenter got me some plywood and a truck driver went and got me some signs,” explained Davis. “They kept calling saying they needed more signs, but I told them I couldn’t afford any more. They just said, ‘Here you go.'”

Tucker County Clerk Sherry Simmons agreed any sort of a write in campaign is at best a long shot, but she also knew how hard Davis had worked after telling her he was going to give it a try. Election night, she was prepared.

“When the ballots came in we cracked the can, ran the ballots, and the counting board reviewed EVERY ballot,” she explained. “Fred won the election by 651 votes.”

Most of those ballots were clearly marked too.  According to Simmons hardly any were challenged over “voter intent.”  She indicated all of the ballots clearly indicated a vote for Davis.

When asked by “Talkline” Host Hoppy Kercheval how he managed to do it, Davis said the formula was pretty simple.

“Being nice,” he said. “They’re tired of listening to everybody fighting and everything is at a stand still. I said, ‘Just be nice.'”

The plan worked. He’s now ready to take his seat on the Tucker County Commission and believed he had a mandate. Among his first goals for the office Davis wanted to find a way to secure more funding for the local EMS. He would also like to attract a vocational training center to the county and provide more opportunities for teenagers to learn skills which are in demand in the county like truck drivers or welders.

“I want to help them get their CDL license and get them to learn how to weld,” said Davis. “With the pipeline coming through those are great paying jobs and it would give them a way to stay here at home.”

 

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