The competitive race between four Democrat candidates for Calhoun Commission is stirring some interest in the county. Perhaps of most interest is the candidacy of local dentist Lynn Gilbert, wife of James Morris of Calhoun Realty, the Calhoun Chronicle and the Morris oil and gas interests.

The Morris family has been well-known for their political activity in the county for many years, and more recently their employment of Delegate Bill Stemple.

Calhoun Commission candidate Lynn Gilbert (Democrat) told The Hur Herald she is donating the net value of her commission salary to worthy causes, if elected. The gross amount of the salary, which will be $16,500 annually starting with newly elected officials, is $99,000 over the six year term. Adjusted for taxes and deductions, Gilbert's contribution could be about $70,000.

"I am giving the yearly salary, spreading it out in the beginning to fire departments. I hope to get a group of people together to find the right places to donate the money," she said.

The current members of the Calhoun Commission, McCallister, Barr and Weaver, declined a $1500 pay increase offered by the West Virginia Legislature.

Commission candidate Rick Sampson (Democrat) said "It's good she's got the time and wealth to do something like this. It would have been nice if she came forward with her grant writing and helped with county problems as a volunteer, before she ran," he said.

Candidate Tom Shock (Democrat) said "In my past experience, over all the years, I've seen many people come in here from elsewhere and try to conduct our business. I've seen many leave. Sometimes they've left with unpaid bills and bankruptcy. I'm running on a common sense platform," said Shock.

Candidate Steve Whited (Democrat) said, "It sounds like a round about way of buying votes, my plan for the salary is to save for my children's education. I will contribute to my county and community with hard work, sweat, equity and being a dedicated commissioner."

SEE: Meet The Candidates

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