From secret criminal background investigations to a high school teacher handing out campaign signs during the school day, the Clay Communicator reports that it was a reckless and ruckus election in Clay County.

One county official used his "political clout" to have police do a background check on his opponent and a school teacher reportedly used "down time" at school to have students assemble his campaign signs, some of which were taken home on school buses, reportedly with those sharp wires protruding.

The teacher said he saw nothing wrong with asking the kids for help.

"Never before in this county have so many people tried so hard and spent so much to get elected to an office," wrote editor Andy Waddell, who often says he may be the most hated man in Clay County.

Waddell himself is a candidate for County Commission under the Mountain Party banner.

"From radio ads to outdoor bill boards to web sites and web site advertising, the money has been spent," he said. A candidate for sheriff, Morgan Gibson, reportedly offered to hand over $1000 to each area fire department, contingent on being elected to the post.

Waddell said Gibson felt it was no different than any other politician making an election year promise.

Another candidate for sheriff, Joe Morris, apparently heard about Gibson's offer and made a bigger offer to the fire departments, according to Waddell.

Joan Casto with the WV Secretary of State's office said such offers are illegal, quoting the State Code 3-9-13 and 3-9-12. Both candidates pulled their proposals.

Candidate Wayne King saw some of his signs go up in flames, while Prosecuting Attorney candidate Barbara Schamberger had signs defaced by red paint. Signs went up saying "Anybody but Scott Legg for Sheriff".

There was at least one problem with a voter on election day who was angered after he was told he wasn't properly registered at the Maysel precinct. The voter then went to the County Clerk's office to express his anger with what Waddell calls "potty mouth."

"His next stop was Clay Middle School where he stood in line waiting to vote with Vice Principal Jim Haynie nearby. With more foul language spewing from Legg, Haynie told him to stop the potty mouth. Irate, Legg took a folding chair and whopped Haynie up side the head before fleeing."

He later returned to the school and voted, "much more subdued" after being talked to by police officers.

Waddell may be best remembered for opposing "alter calls" at Clay County schools, calling PSD water outfits to task and opposing the hanging of the ten commandments in the county court house.