Jefferson County native Leigh Koonce recently released a new history book that highlights past local elections and campaigns, including the earliest campaigns by women and African Americans. 

His book, “Stories from the Ballot Box: History and Reflections from Jefferson County,” has topped the bestseller list at Shepherdstown’s Four Seasons Books in Shepherdstown since it was released last month.

Koonce, a Summit Point resident who currently serves as chairman of the Jefferson County Democratic Party Executive Committee, can trace his family roots in the county to the late 18th century.  

“Having longstanding family connections to the area definitely piqued my interest when it came to first researching the political history of Jefferson County,” he explained in a prepared statement.

His 236-page book includes chapters on the early women and African-American candidates who ran for office in Jefferson County. “I’ve tried to craft a conversational narrative within the book that covers our county elections over the past 20 years,” Koonce offered. 

The book’s foreword was written by former West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant, a Democrat and one of three women to hold that office.

Copies of the book can be purchased from Four Seasons Books, Barnes and Noble, and the Winchester Book Gallery.

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