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Morgan Co. leader plans Senate run

February 24, 1999|By BRYN MICKLE

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Morgan County Commissioner Phil Maggio plans to run in the May 2000 Republican primary for the 16th District West Virginia Senate seat currently held by Democrat Herb Snyder.

Maggio, 46, of Great Capacon, W.Va., said he will use a grassroots campaign to convince voters in Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties to send him to Charleston.

"West Virginians don't want anyone to buy their vote. They want to be convinced that someone is looking out for their best interests," Maggio said.

One of the key themes of his campaign will be addressing the growth issues that face communities in the Eastern Panhandle, Maggio said.

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Berkeley County must continue improving its infrastructure to meet the needs of "enormous" commercial and residential growth, while Jefferson County residents have expressed a desire to maintain a balance between growth and maintaining a high quality of life, said Maggio.

Morgan County, he said, has placed itself in a position to expand its economic base and increase the number of residents who both live and work in the county.

A strong advocate of decentralized government, Maggio said he wants to see more decision-making control at the local level.

Pointing to the twin issues of growth and unemployment, Maggio questioned how statewide legislation can address specific regional needs.

"You have rapid growth and low unemployment in the Eastern Panhandle, negative growth and high unemployment in the central parts of the state and a mixture in the southern part. There can't be one solution," he said.

The state also needs to remedy problems with its education system, said Maggio.

"There needs to be more responsibility from everyone. Students have to learn, teachers have to teach and the administration needs to support both," he said.

Maggio said he did not know who his potential opponents would be in the Republican primary.

The incumbent Snyder could not be reached for comment.

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