The Times West Virginian

Local News

May 5, 2014

Starn, Ward candidates for circuit clerk

Both vying for courthouse post

FAIRMONT — For the upcoming election, voters will see two candidates on the ballot for Marion County Circuit Clerk: Democratic candidate Rhonda Starn and Republican candidate Guy Ward.

Starn has been the current Marion County Circuit Clerk since she was appointed in August 2013 by Marion Circuit Judge David Janes. She replaced former circuit clerk Barbra Core, who left to take another job with the State Supreme Court.

Before following in Core’s footsteps, Starn had worked with her for 16 years in the Marion County Circuit Clerk’s office. In those 16 years, Starn worked for Judge Janes for nine years as his courtroom clerk.

“For Judge Janes to have the faith in me that he did, I was very grateful,” Starn said.

Starn started her career in the courthouse working for the County Clerk Janice Cosco from 1995-97. Then she began working for Core in 1997.

“(The courthouse) is like my second home,” Starn said.

Working in the circuit clerk’s office for so many years, Starn has gotten very familiar with how the clerk’s office is run. Knowing the ins and outs of the system, she said she knows what to do when a case comes in or if someone needs help.

“When a case is brought in, I know how to file it,” Starn said.

From filing cases to sending out subpoenas, Starn said she has the experience and skill set to do each task correctly.

“I know where to go for my research if there’s something that you don’t understand,” she said.

With the background that Starn has, she said she has worked with several attorneys and feels she has a good rapport with them.

Starn said the circuit clerk has to have an idea of what is going on in the office and how things work.

Starn said she’s very grateful to have worked in the courthouse and to have been appointed as Marion County circuit clerk. She said she loves working in the office because of the people she works with.

“God put me here and He’ll keep me here for as long as He wants,” Starn said. “I love the people I’m surrounded by.”

Starn said she is glad to have the opportunity to continue what Core started in the circuit clerk’s office.

“I’m very greatful to be here and carry that on and see that through and to have the staff that I do,” she said.

Starn resides in Colfax, and was born and raised in Rivesville.

Republican candidate Ward is looking to to get back into the county courthouse. Ward is the current mayor of White Hall.

Ward started his career in public office when he was a White Hall town council member for 14 years, from 1998-2012. He said his neighbors in White Hall encouraged him to run for council.

In 2012, Ward was appointed to the Marion County Commission. He served as commissioner for about a year and was elected as the mayor of White Hall in 2013.

Ward worked for Allegheny Energy, which is now FirstEnergy, for 33 years before retiring in 2011.

As for running for Marion County circuit clerk, Ward said he wants to get back into the courthouse.

“I was on county commission for a year and really enjoyed working in the courthouse,” he said. “I would like to get back into the courthouse and circuit clerk is a prominent position in the courthouse.”

Ward said even though the position is overseen by circuit court, he sees the clerk as a position of influence.

“I think I can get a lot of things accomplished for the county as a circuit clerk,” he said.

If elected, Ward said he’ll do what it takes to help people. He said he knows that needs arise within the county because of his experience on county commission.

“I like working for people and doing things for people and the public,” Ward said.

Ward still has just more than a year left of serving as mayor of White Hall.

If he is elected as Marion County circuit clerk, Kimberly Weber, general counsel of the West Virginia Ethics Commission said because his position of mayor is a part-time position and the circuit clerk is a full-time position, Ward would be able to serve both positions at the same time.

Ward said although it’s OK with the ethics commission, he still has to get with the West Virginia Attorney General’s office.

Ward resides in White Hall with his wife, Joy.

Email Emily Gallagher at egallagher@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @EGallagherTWV.

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