West Virginia GOP Candidate Killed by Snowstorm a Week Before Election

John Rose Sr. Owned Deer Farm in Rural Area

Yahoo Contributor Network

A Republican candidate for the West Virginia House of Delegates was killed Tuesday by a falling tree limb caused by the remnants of Hurricane Sandy. John Rose Sr. , 60, was with his wife checking fences on his 100-acre deer farm when a huge tree limb snapped under the weight of heavy snow, according to the Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail. The Rose family lived just south of Philippi, W.Va., the seat of Barbour County.

* Rose was attempting to get his ATV backed out of a rut after the vehicle became stuck in snow. Rose's wife heard the limb break but didn't think to check on it until she realized her husband wasn't coming.

* George Rose, the elder man's son, told the Daily Mail the entire county knew him. The 47th District candidate was a coal miner and ran a power-washing business before starting his deer farm in 2005.

* The elder Rose tried to work with West Virginia lawmakers for six legislative sessions in an attempt to get deer farms regulated by the state Department of Agriculture instead of the Division of Natural Resources. Under the agriculture department, deer farmers would have less restrictive regulations.

* When working with the legislature didn't work, Rose decided to run for a House of Delegates seat. During the May 8 primary election , Rose earned 1,353 votes between Barbour and Tucker Counties.

* Rose's opponent in the general election is Mary M. Poling . The incumbent Democrat earned 1,971 votes in her primary election. Both Rose and Poling ran unopposed in May.

* Poling is currently a member of the House of Delegates from the 40th District. When district lines were redrawn after the 2010 U.S. Census, her district changed to the 47th. Poling was first elected to the House in 2000. She was born in Barbour County.

* West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant announced signs will be posted at all voting precincts Tuesday announcing Rose's death. It is too late to find a replacement for his name on the ballot. If the challenger is elected posthumously, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin will appoint a nominee from a list of three names submitted by the Republican Party in Barbour County.

* Write-in candidates have until 5 p.m. Thursday to file an intent to run for the office. Write-ins registered with the Secretary of State's office will be counted on ballots following Tuesday's general election.

* Rose owned Gone Huntin' Whitetails , a deer farm south of Philippi. The farmer sold portions of his herd to other farmers in the area and to sportsmen who owned private hunting ranches. Rose recently added elk to his stock.

* Barbour County has a population of 16,589 people as of the 2010 U.S. Census. The rural area is located in a hilly area of West Virginia south of Morgantown and near the Maryland border.

William Browning is a research librarian specializing in U.S. politics.

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