UPDATE: Tebay Sworn in as Commissioner

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UPDATE 1/5/2015 5:50 PM

"Let's get to work".

Those were first words spoken by Bob Tebay after taking his oath of office Monday.

Tebay then took his seat on the Wood County Commission for its first meeting of the new year.

The commission decided for now not to change its agenda format.

That was streamlined two years ago by then-president Wayne Dunn, although fellow commissioner Blair Couch believes the old format was more convenient for people with business before the commission.

"Why don't we give this a try for six months to a year and see if you like it. If we don't, we can change it later. But it seems to be working well, and it's made us more efficient. It's really helped," says Commissioner Steve Gainer.

Gainer was chosen as the new commission president, with Couch becoming president pro-tem.

Tebay was sworn in by his son Rob, who is a local attorney.

Update: 12/29/2014 5:30 P.M.

A Wood County commissioner ends what he believes is a productive six years in office.

Wayne Dunn however, also says the county also has to plan for the future.

He's leaving after losing in the November election to former commissioner Bob Tebay.

Dunn was saluted by Carlin's Battery, which fired three cannon shots from Fort Boreman hill this morning.

He said the expected ethane cracker should bring economic development to the area, but that the commission needs a long-range plan to prevent that from becoming a "boom-bust" cycle.

"A thing I would encourage you to consider," Dunn said in his message to the commission, "is forming a resolution that encompasses the vision of what this community has for the future; what we want to look like 30 years down the road. Just as something to work toward."

Dunn added the commissioners have worked together, mostly putting aside their political differences.

Projections continue to call for the county to have a tight budget for at least the next two years.

UPDATE 11/5/2014 4:15 PM

Another ousted incumbent - Wood County's only Democratic county commissioner.

Commission President Wayne Dunn was soundly defeated Tuesday by former commissioner Bob Tebay.

Republican Tebay lost to Dunn in 2008.

Dunn believes an "anti-Obama" turnout was the main reason he failed to win re-election.

Tuesday marked the fifth time in six elections a current commission president lost a re-election bid.

Tebay, Rick Modesitt and Gary Deem were among the commission presidents who lost elections.

UPDATE 11/4/2014 9:30 PM

Final, unofficial numbers indicate Bob Tebay defeated incumbent Wayne Dunn in the Wood County Commission race.

Tebay received 12,480 votes, while Dunn received 8,661.

UPDATE 10/22/2014 5:05 PM

The same two men who ran for Wood County Commission six years ago are running for the same seat this time.

But there's a new issue in this race.

That new issue is the proposed cracker, and one candidate believes the other's views could prevent it from being built.

In 2008, Wayne Dunn won the seat held by long-time commissioner Bob Tebay.

Tebay told us he's concerned Dunn's environmental concerns might hurt the chances for the cracker to be built in Wood County.

But Dunn says he's convinced the plant's developers are environmentally friendly.

"There's been some rumors that certain people object to the way the plant would be built. We certainly wouldn't want to do anything like that," says Tebay.

We asked Tebay if he thinks Dunn is part of that.

"I couldn't say, but that's a possibility," replied Tebay.

"We don't want a company to come that's going to trash the community. We've got a good one here, and that's not going to happen. I feel confident Odebrecht and Braskem are going to operate at the top of their game, when they come," says Dunn.

The two also differ on Wood County's tight budget.

Dunn says he would not rule out an increase in the county's levy rate.

Tebay says there are still ways to reduce waste, before that option is considered.

We also asked Tebay about his health, which prompted him earlier this year to consider dropping out of the race.

He says his vocal chords are improving, but joked - in his words - just don't ask me to sing.

UPDATE 5/21/2014 3:45 PM

Bob Tebay is staying in the county commission race.

Due to health issues, Tebay tried dropping out of the race prior to the primary election, but the deadline to do that had already passed and his name remained on the ballot.

Tebay won the county commission primary.

He faces Democratic Commissioner Wayne Dunn in the November election.

In his statement, Tebay said the health setback temporarily left him with the inability to drive, speak, and to campaign.

But he says his supporters have told him he is still the best candidate to deal with the area's economic changes.

Tebay goes on to say: "Since my departure from the race, I've had many people share with me their concerns for the future of Wood County. We are on the brink of seeing the greatest economic development and job growth ever known to the county and this state. These people have expressed their heartfelt position that a knowledgeable, experienced and dedicated business person fill the commission seat open for election in 2014."

UPDATE 5/19/2014 5:00 PM

It's official.

Bob Tebay wins the county commission primary.

The former commissioner, who tried to withdraw from the race, now faces a final decision whether to resume his campaign.

He says he plans to put out a statement in a couple of days.

He won last Tuesday by just 21 votes, but the canvass added to that margin Monday.

The canvass was complete just after 3:30 Monday afternoon, and Tebay's margin now is 30 votes.

Even with the close race for the commission and some other contested races, the county clerk said things went even more smoothly than normal.

"The statement of ballots used was actually better than in previous years," says county clerk Mark Rhodes. "The poll workers did a great job of making sure everything was accurate, and the numbers were correct."

It would be up to the Wood County Republican Party to decide who will be the GOP candidate if Tebay makes a final withdrawal from the race.

But that's not a decision it can make until Tebay makes his.

On another subject, Dave Foggin, the Parkersburg South High School teacher currently under suspension, picked up 17 write-in votes for board of education.

Update: 5/14/2014 2:35 PM

Bob Tebay says he did not campaign in a primary he ended up winning, although he adds he hasn't made a final decision on withdrawing from the race.

Citing illness, the former Wood County Commissioner tried to drop out of the race in April. An attorney general's opinion, however, stated his name had to stay on the primary ballot, since his withdrawl came after a February deadline.

Tebay won the primary by 21 votes Tuesday.

"I am surprised so many people remembered me and voted for me," he said Wednesday.

If he decided to withdraw, now that he is the Republican nominee, the Wood County GOP would have to appoint someone to run in his place to oppose Democratic Commissioner Wayne Dunn in the November election.

Tebay, who says he is recovering from his recent illness, says he plans to make a decision soon on resuming his campaign. He says he did not campaign in the primary, but would do so if he decided to run.

The canvass of Tuesday's primary vote is scheduled for Monday, May 19. Wood County Clerk Mark Rhodes says there are 66 provisional ballots that haven't been counted yet.

He adds he doesn't expect Tuesday's outcome to change.

UPDATE 5/13/2014 11:00 PM

One candidate in Wood County's Commission race attempted to drop out of the race.

But county and state officials said it was too late and his name still appeared on the ballot.

Roger Brown led most of the evening, but, in the end, he finished second by just 21 votes to Bob Tebay, the former commissioner who tried dropping out of the race.

Brown, at least for the time being, conceded the race to Tebay.

The Republican nominee goes on to face Democrat incumbent Wayne Dunn in the November election.

We have not been able to reach Tebay for comment.

If Tebay formally drops out of the race again, the Republican Executive Committee would have to choose his successor on the November ballot.

All these are final, unofficial totals.

The vote canvass will be held this coming Monday.

UPDATE 4/24/2014 5:25 PM

He's not running, but he's still on the ballot.

Bob Tebay withdrew his candidacy for Wood County Commission last week, but the state attorney general says he can't do that.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey says Bob Tebay missed a February deadline to drop out, and absentee ballots have already been sent out for the May 13th primary.

Morrisey says Tebay would have to withdraw after the primary if he wins.

"If Mr. Tebay wins the primary and then withdraws, the Republican Executive Committee would then appoint someone to run in the general election in the fall," says Wood County Clerk Mark Rhodes. "The point becomes moot if he does not win."

There are three other candidates running for the commission seat now held by Democrat Wayne Dunn.

Early voting for the May primary begins next Wednesday.

An opinion from the West Virginia attorney general's office could determine how the withdrawl of a Wood County Commission candidate will affect the ballot for the upcoming May primary.

Prosecutor Jason Wharton told the commission Thursday the Republican Party Executive Committee could find a replacement for Bob Tebay, if he were to win the May 13th primary.

Other options include not counting votes cast for Tebay, or not allowing Tebay to withdraw, since he did so after the deadline had passed.

"The commission has requested, given the state of the law, an attorney general opinion," Wharton said. "Because the voting process is central to our form of government, we need to know exactly when the voters go in, that they know exactly what they're doing."

Tebay, a former county commissioner, officially withdrew his candidacy Tuesday.

Roger Brown, Raymond Jones and Sam Baker are also on the Republican ballot.

They are candidates for the seat currently held by Commissioner Wayne Dunn. Dunn recused himself from Thursday's commission meeting during the discussion about Tebay's withdrawl.

Absentee ballots for the primary have already been sent out. Early voting for the primary begins April 30.

An opinion from the attorney general's office is expected next week.

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