Most Board of Public Works Officials Sail to Easy Victories - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Most Board of Public Works Officials Sail to Easy Victories

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Although longtime Attorney General Darrell McGraw lost his re-election bid, other members of the state's Board of Public Works sailed to easy victories.

The three officials — Natalie Tennant, Glen Gainer and John Perdue — have a combined 40 years of elected office experience behind them, and that could be part of the reason they won re-election with little trouble.

Tennant, who was elected secretary of state in 2008, had the biggest victory of the night. She beat Republican Brian Savilla by a margin of 61 percent to 38 percent, according to final but unofficial results. Savilla is a former member of the House of Delegates, representing Putnam and Mason counties.

Tennant has prided her office on transparency and openness. She also championed Internet voting for military and overseas voters. Her office oversees the Business and Licensing Division, under which several initiatives have been implemented to make it easier for businesses to operate in West Virginia. Under Tennant's watch, the office has seen a significant increase in online business filings.

Gainer was elected to his sixth term as auditor. He beat out Republican challenger Larry V. Faircloth by a margin of 57 percent to 42 percent based on final but unofficial results.

The auditor serves as the state's bookkeeper, but also has a host of additional responsibilities. As auditor, Gainer serves as the vice chairman of the West Virginia Consolidated Public Retirement Board, trustee of the West Virginia Investment Management Board and chairman of the board's audit committee, trustee of the West Virginia Board of Treasury Investments and chairman of the board's investment committee, chairman of the Interstate Commerce Appeals Board, member of the Armory Board, member of the Board of Public Works and other state boards and commissions. Gainer was first elected in 1992 and succeeded his father, who served as auditor from 1977 to 1993.

Treasurer John Perdue also was re-elected. He has served as the state's treasurer since 1996 but served in several other capacities before that. Perdue worked in Gov. Gaston Caperton's office as well as the Department of Agriculture. Now, as treasurer, Perdue oversees more than $13 billion annually, as well as the state's Board of Treasury Investments, the state's 457 Deferred Compensation Plan, the Unclaimed Property Division, the SMART 529 College Education Savings Plan and others.

His challenger, Republican Mike Hall, most recently served in the state Senate, representing Putnam County. Perdue won re-election by a margin of 54 percent to 45 percent, based on final, but unofficial results.

All results will become official after canvassing, which will happen next week.