Liz McCormick Published

Martinsburg Elects First Woman Mayor In Its 241-Year History


The city of Martinsburg elected its first female mayor this week.

Harriet Johnson, a Democrat, received 564 votes – a little more than 35 percent of the vote, according to unofficial election results.

Johnson is the first woman mayor, since Martinsburg was established in October 1778. Prior to her win, the seat was held by George Karos, also a Democrat, for 20 years.

On her Facebook page, Johnson said, as mayor, she will strive to make the city a destination to “live, work, play and shop.”

“My goal as your mayor will be to take our City of Martinsburg to the next level. I want to be transparent and help our citizens see the work that we are doing each day to make our community better,” Johnson said in a post. “I want to encourage economic development for good jobs for our citizens … I want to make our city the best town in the State of West Virginia.”

Other mayoral candidates included James W. Dailey II, a Republican, with 378 votes Dan Dulyea, a Republican, with 291 votes; Misty Francis, a Republican, with 184 votes; Robert “Rob” L. Lowe II, a Republican, with 126 votes; and Luke Loy, who did not include a party affiliation in his candidacy filing, with 54 votes. 

City officials said absentee ballots are still being counted, but don’t anticipate a change in results.

Johnson enters the office of mayor after spending four years on the Martinsburg City Council as a council member at large.

She officially takes office Aug. 5.