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Douglas won't seek re-election

January 18, 2002

Douglas won't seek re-election



By RICHARD F. BELISLE / Staff Writer, Waynesboro


MARTINSBURG, W.Va - Del. Vicki V. Douglas said Thursday she won't seek a seventh two-year term in the West Virginia House of Delegates and will step down when her term ends in December.

Douglas, 64, a Democrat, represents the 52nd District, which covers the city of Martinsburg and town of Hedgesville. She is the only woman representing the three-county Eastern Panhandle region among its six delegates and two state senators.

Douglas said she has been wrestling with the thought of stepping down for four years. Even in good weather, Charleston is a five-hour drive from her home in Martinsburg, she said.

During the 60-day session she said she's lucky to get back home for two weekends. "Richard (her husband, attorney Richard L. Douglas) and I are leading separate lives," she said Thursday via telephone during a session break. "We'd like time to travel and to see our children and grandchildren."

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She said she stays in Charleston on weekends to catch up on what she has to read and to prepare for the coming week.

The legislative session runs this year from Jan. 9 through March 9. The governor often extends it for a week for budget work, she said.

Delegates in West Virginia make $15,000 a year.

Douglas was elected in 1990 the first time to represent what was then the 37th District. It covered parts of Berkeley and Morgan counties. Two years later the Panhandle was redistricted and she ran for her current 52nd District. "I went from two counties to two towns," she said.

A new delegate district map has been completed for West Virginia that adds two new districts to the Panhandle. Douglas' district will be a little smaller and will be renumbered as the 54th District, she said.

Douglas chairs some powerful House committees, including the Government Organization Committee which oversee all state boards and commissions. The committee has eliminated boards that no longer function and created new ones that do, among them the Office of Juvenile Services and the Office of Technology, she said. Douglas is co-chair of the Joint House/Senate Committee on Government Organization.

She has served on the House Judiciary Committee for six years, chaired the rule-making committee that looks at, modifies and amends all state regulations, serves on the Legislative Task Force on Juvenile Foster Care, Detention and Placement and serves as legislative liaison on the Governor's Committee on Crime and Delinquency.

"This is getting embarrassing," Douglas said as she continued her litany of House duties.

She serves on the House Committee on Health and is one of 35 members of the National Health Policy Forum.

"I've had the good fortune to work on issues that are important and I've been successful because of it," Douglas said.

"Now I want to take what I've learned, use it in a different way and still have a private life. I'm not coming home to mulch," she added.

Douglas has two children, Julie Triggs, 40, a student at West Virginia University Medical School, and David, 36, who works in Washington, D.C.

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