The Upshur County Election Commission named Deputy County Clerk Lory Harle as county election administrator, said County Judge and commission Chairman Dean Fowler.
She was among seven applicants for the $40,000-a-year post, he said. The appointment is effective Nov. 15, and Harle was already in charge of the upcoming Nov. 3 election in her capacity with the county clerk’s office.
The commission interviewed five of the applicants in closed session over a period of more than three hours Monday before voting without dissent in open session to name Harle, said Upshur County Republican Party Chairman Cynthia Ridgeway, a committee member.
Ridgeway said she stated at the meeting that she “was very pleased” that the court had two other “exceptionally qualified” candidates besides Harle. None of the applicants had any prior experience as an election administrator, Ridgeway said.
“She (Harle) got the job because the majority of the commission did not want to run the risk of hiring someone that might want to get assistance or ask for more funding on programming the (election) equipment,” Ridgeway said. “She was already trained on programming the equipment.”
Others on the five-member election commission include County Clerk Terry Ross, County Tax Assessor-Collector Sherron Laminack and Upshur County Democratic Party Chairman Dan Miles Jr.
Harle, 38, has worked for Upshur County for the past 10 years. She spent four years in the county clerk’s office before going to the district clerk’s office for four years, then returned to the county clerk’s office two years ago.
She said she has helped hold elections during her entire tenure in the county clerk’s office.
Concerning her hiring, Harle said Tuesday, “I’m glad they trust me to do the elections. I’ll do the best for the people of Upshur County.”
Upshur County Commissioners Court recently voted 3-1 to establish the EA position, but has no say in hiring the administrator. The commission and court can jointly terminate someone from the position, and the court can vote at any time to abolish the post.
The EA office will be located on the eastern end of the second floor of the Upshur County Courthouse, at the opposite end of the hall from the county clerk’s office. The room where the new administrator will be housed was once the county tax assessor-collector’s office, but in recent years has been used for early voting and for tabulatin