Flood victim becomes Mayor of Clendenin

CLENDENIN, W.Va. — The June 2016 Flood inspired Shana Clendenin to run for mayor of a town that was completely underwater nearly a year ago.

Shana Clendenin will become the next Mayor of Clendenin on July 1.

Clendenin was elected Tuesday to serve as the next Mayor of Clendenin.

“In the last year, I’ve gone from having absolutely nothing, to being married and now I’m the Mayor,” she said in an interview with MetroNews.

She ran as Shana Trippett before recently getting married. She defeated incumbent Mayor Gary Bledsoe by receiving 139 votes. Bledsoe, who served as the town’s Mayor for the last four years, had 94 votes.

It was time for a change, Clendenin said.

“The lines of communication have kind of been disconnected between the citizens and the government for quite a while,” she said. “They just felt like they didn’t have a voice. I want to give the people that voice.”

The town saw a high voter turn out Tuesday, in part, because of the flood.

“It’s a detrimental election to Clendenin and the future. There’s been so many changes and things that have gone on that people wanted their voice to be heard. They want change,” Clendenin said.

Her top priority is flood recovery. “We need our people back in their homes,” she said. Restoring businesses in the area is also key to moving the town forward, she added.

“A large majority of our businesses have not returned,” she said. “I want those businesses to come back. I want to replace them or put new businesses in.”

Since the flood, businesses have been forced to shut their doors due to water damage. Clendenin said the lack of revenue has really hurt the town. “We need to bridge the gap between the town, business owners and investors,” she said.

Clendenin was renting a place in town the night of the flood. She said she knows what it’s like to lose all of her belongings and that she plans to use her experience to help her neighbors recover from similar situations.

The Mayor’s term is for two years. Clendenin takes office July 1.

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