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UPDATE: Nitro Mayor-Elect Talks City's Future

By: Anna Baxter, Alex Snyder, Katelyn Sykes Email
By: Anna Baxter, Alex Snyder, Katelyn Sykes Email

UPDATE 6/6/12 @ 5:30 p.m.
NITRO, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- For the first time in more than 15 years, a new face will lead the city of Nitro. Councilman Dave Casebolt unseated longtime Mayor Rusty Casto in Tuesday’s election by more than 200 votes.

On Wednesday, WSAZ.com sat down with Nitro’s new mayor and found out his plans could open the door for new business.

The past 24 hours have been a whirlwind for Dave Casebolt after he was elected mayor Tuesday night, ousting current Mayor Rusty Casto -- after 16 years in the city’s top spot. Casebolt already has big plans for Nitro, including work on the Streetscape project.

"I don't think businesses will invest in a town that just looks dirty,” he said. “And that was one of the primary ideas behind the Streetscape projects."

Priority number one for Casebolt is to clean up the town and enforce a property maintenance ordinance. He says that will attract new investments including businesses and young home buyers.

"There were two new businesses that came in once we finished the Streetscape project,” he said. “And the Rite-Aid people actually told me the other day that their business has increased and their attributing it to the Streetscape project. That they think it's attracting more people downtown."

It is a plan that’s working for business owner Tim Arnott. He owns the Nitro Antique Mall and says the business community needs a little change.

"It doesn't seem like there's been as much economic development in town that we'd like to see,” Arnott said. “I know a lot of local businesses wanted to see a change in the local government and the Streetscape plan. I think Dave was a big movement behind that, getting that in gear and we'd like to see that continue downtown and revitalize downtown a little bit."

It's new leadership with the hope of revitalizing a town that Casebolt says has a lot of potential.

Meanwhile, those election results were disappointing for current Mayor Casto. He has held that seat for 16 years and said he was hoping to serve another term. He said although he won’t be in office, he’s willing to do whatever he can to help Casebolt once he takes over.

"The day he walks in this office, July the first, if he succeeds, the city does well, and that's what I want and that's the way I've been all my life, and that's the way I'll be until the Lord calls me home," Casto said.

Casto said he plans on taking some time off once he leaves office July 1. As for his future plans, he said he’s already receiving some job offers but will not say where just yet.



UPDATE 6/5/12 @ 11:55 p.m.
NITRO, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Current Mayor Rusty Casto, who has held that position for 16 years, has been defeated by challenger Dave Casebolt, according to unofficial election returns.

With all seven precincts reporting, Casebolt received 876 votes and Casto received 643 votes. Casebolt is a member of Nitro City Council.

Casto was seeking a fifth term in office.

Unofficial Results
Nitro Mayor:
Dave Casebolt - 876
Rusty Casto - 643

City Recorder:
Jim McKay - 509
Rita Cox - 1,000

Council Ward 1
Donna S. Boggs - 161
Al Walls - 176

Council Ward 2
William P. Racer - 105
Cory Fagen - 41

Council Ward 3
Lorrie Tyler Lane - 77
Hershel Facemyre - 131
Laurie Elkins - 204

Council Ward 4
Andy Shamblin - 251

At-Large Council (top 3)
Craig A. Matthews - 858
Bill Javens - 813
Brenda Tyler - 655
Shawn Allen Larck - 531
W. Leonard Womble - 445

The Non-partisan primary election proposal failed.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 6/5/12 @ 11:25 p.m.
NITRO, W. Va. (WSAZ) -- Rusty Casto has been a mainstay at Nitro City Hall. For the past 16 years, he has been mayor and from 1980 to 1992 he served on the City Council.

"Love the job. Like I said before, I love the people of the town, love what I'm doing, love to make improvements to the town. As long as people say you're the mayor, I'll stay here and go from there," Casto said.

Now it’s up to the people. They can elect Casto to his fifth term in office or elect current city Councilman Dave Casebolt.

"My biggest strength is able to bring more people in, involve them in the process, get more ideas and that's a strength I have that Rusty doesn't have," Casebolt said.

But whoever does win, both candidates already have plans in place for when they take the mayoral seat.

"Very first thing I'm going to do is put our property maintenance board together and start addressing property maintenance issues in town," Casebolt said.

"Well, we definitely need a new street sweeper, we need a new pool house, we need to pave roads and of course we got to look at the closure of the Nitro-St. Albans bridge that comes January the 7th."

Both candidates are also prepared if they don’t win this election.

"We may go ahead and put this batch together that's going to raise several hundred thousand dollars for our non-profits in town. That is the one project I will continue to work on," Casebolt said.

"I’ll call his minister up there in the last week of June and hand him the keys and have a prayer with his preacher and shake his hand, say good luck and I'll start the next phase of my life," Casto said.



UPDATE 6/5/12 @ 11 p.m.
NITRO, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A potential upset continues to brew in the Nitro mayoral race, according to unofficial election returns.

Current Mayor Rusty Casto is facing off against challenger Dave Casebolt.

Casto has been Nitro's mayor since 1996, while Casebolt is currently a City Council member.

As of about 11 p.m. Tuesday, six of seven precincts had counted the ballots. Casebolt was up by a considerable margin -- 613 votes to Casto's 481 votes.



UPDATE 6/5/12 @ 9:55 p.m.
NITRO, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Challenger Dave Casebolt leads incumbent Mayor Rusty Casto in the city mayoral race, according to early returns.

With one of seven precincts reporting, Casebolt had received 73 votes and Casto had 41 votes. Casto is running for a fifth term in office.

Voters will also decide city recorder, council-at-large seats and ward council seats. All of the races are contested.

There are several contested races on the ballot and a proposal on whether the city should add a nonpartisan primary election.

Right now, Nitro only has a general election for its city election. If the proposal passes during Tuesday's election, the city would add a primary election to its election process.

Polls closed at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.



UPDATE 6/5/12 @ 8:20 a.m.
NITRO, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Voters in Nitro are heading to the polls Tuesday to choose who will lead them for the next four years.

There are several contested races on the ballot and a proposal on whether the city should add a nonpartisan primary election.

Right now, Nitro only has a general election for its city election. If the proposal passes during Tuesday's election, the city would add a primary election to its election process.

Some voters say it would simplify the process, but others say it is just another cost.

In the mayor's race, Incumbent Rusty Casto faces Dave Casebolt for the city's top job. Casto is running for a fifth term in office.

Voters will also decide city recorder, council-at-large seats and ward council seats. All of the races are contested.

Polls close at 7:30 p.m.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for all of the results.



ORIGINAL STORY
NITRO, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Voters in Nitro will soon head to the polls to decide who will lead their city for the next four years.

The city election is set for Tuesday, June 5.

In the mayor's race, Incumbent Rusty Casto faces Dave Casebolt for the city's top job. Casto is running for a fifth term in office.

Voters will also decide city recorder, council-at-large seats and ward council seats. All of the races are contested.

Also, voters will also vote on a proposal on whether the city should add a nonpartisan primary election. Right now, Nitro only has a general election for its city election.

If the proposal passes during next week's election, the city would add a primary election to its election process.

Some voters say it would simplify the process, but others say it is just another cost.

Early voting is well underway for the city election. So far, 75 people have cast an early ballot.

City Recorder Rita Cox tells WSAZ.com that's about the same number that voted early during the last election.

Early voting continues until Saturday, June 2. Voters can cast a ballot from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.


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