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West Virginia House candidate dies in storm accident

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November 1, 2012

West Virginia

By Phil Sletten

CHARLESTON, West Virginia: West Virginia State House of Delegates candidate John R. Rose, Sr. died on Tuesday, October 30, 2012, in an accident related to Hurricane Sandy. He was 60 years old.[1]

Rose was with his wife, checking fences on their 100-acre deer farm, when their all-terrain vehicle become stuck in the snowy conditions. The higher elevation areas in West Virginia received up to two feet of wet snow, which weighed heavily on tree branches. Rose's wife left the vehicle, and shortly afterward a large limb broke off a tree and struck Mr. Rose.[1]

Rose was one of at least five people to die in West Virginia as a result of weather-related accidents after Hurricane Sandy made landfall.[2] At least 36 roads were closed statewide, and many people living off of backroads are reportedly cut off from outside access. Over 250,000 people did not have power on Tuesday.[1]

This accident came too close to the election to take Rose's name off of the ballot. Rose, a Republican, was running against incumbent Democrat Mary M. Poling in House Distirct 47. Approximately 930 voters have already cast absentee or in-person ballots in Barbour County.[3] A sign will be posted at all relevant polling stations informing voters of Rose's death. The Secretary of State's office will also open a special write-in candidate filing period, which will close Thursday, November 1, at 5:00PM. If Rose wins the election, Barbour County's Republican Party executive committee will submit three names to fill the vacancy, and Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D) will select a candidate to fill the seat.[4][2]

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