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HUNTINGTON — Chad Lovejoy has been axed from the West Virginia House of Delegates after facing another Democratic delegate in Tuesday’s primary election for the House of Delegates’ District 27 race.

Redistricting across West Virginia, which occurred due to population loss throughout the state, pitted the two Cabell County-area House of Delegates incumbents against each other.

Post canvassing in Wayne and Cabell counties, voters determined Ric Griffith will move on to face Republican Jeff Maynard in the Nov. 8 general election. At press time Tuesday, Griffith had received 526 votes compared to Lovejoy’s 435. Maynard ran unopposed Tuesday and received 668 votes.

Less than 1,000 of nearly 10,000 voters in the district voted in the district race. Griffith said if more voters had come out, the outcome could have been different.

The new House of Delegates 27 District covers northern Wayne County and southwestern Cabell County.

Griffith said the victory was a tough one to accept because he wants to serve, but the redistricting that put eight West Virginia incumbent Democrats against each other was unfair.

“It does make me sad because of my friendship with Chad — the goodness he’s done for the state and community,” he said. “It almost sickens me this district was divided this way. We each have had probably 12,000 new voters who did not fall in our district beforehand. That being the case, it made this a toss-up.”

Both Democrats said being put in the position of running against each other was disappointing, but they agreed to support the winner in November’s general election.

Lovejoy has served three terms in the House of Delegates, while Griffith is wrapping up his first.

Lovejoy has campaigned as being someone who sponsored or co-sponsored more than 70 bills signed into law, which he did by building relationships across the aisle. He has spent the majority of his time focused on helping first responders and addressing food insecurities.

He said during a fourth term, he would want to help develop jobs that would give the next generation options and ability to stay in the state.

Griffith said with more than $10 billion coming to West Virginia in federal funding, he wanted to find a way to increase economic growth and reverse population loss. He agreed that building the workforce and bringing former West Virginians home was needed. Griffith also said he would like to address foster care issues in the state.

Courtney Hessler is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch, primarily covering Marshall University. Follow her on Facebook.com/CHesslerHD and via Twitter @HesslerHD.

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