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Four set sights on primary in 56th District delegate seat

May 07, 2002|BY SARAH MULLIN

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

Three Republicans will be on the GOP ballot in the May 14 primary election for the new 56th District West Virginia House of Delegates seat.

Robert C. "Bob" Tabb is the only candidate on the Democratic side of the ballot in the primary.

Republicans James "Jim" Whitacre, Tom Grove and Donald R. Shoemaker will vie for the right to face Tabb in the Nov. 5 general election.

Delegates serve two-year terms and earn $15,000.

The 56th District covers portions of Berkeley and Jefferson counties.

n Robert C. "Bob" Tabb, 50, of Rt. 1 Box 585, 1870 Darke Lane, Kearneysville, owns Town and Country Nursery and is a farmer.

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He has been a volunteer with Independent Fire Co. in Ranson, W.Va., for 27 years and a licensed emergency medical technician for 18 years.

Tabb said he is running for a delegate seat because he loves the state and the Eastern Panhandle.

He said he would work to market the state so more businesses would locate here. He said he hopes this would help eliminate the "bedroom community" issues facing the area.

Tabb said more business means more money, which leads to revenue that could go toward building new schools.

He is a proponent of secondary and vocational education.

"Skilled workers are the key to business and skilled workers attract more business," he said.

n James "Jim" Whitacre, 40, of 3829 Winchester Ave., Martinsburg, owns Jim Whitacre Excavating and is property manager of Whitacre Mobile Home Park.

He is a member of the Berkeley County Planning Commission and the Berkeley County Ambulance Authority.

Whitacre said he "hopes to have the Eastern Panhandle heard in greater detail and let Charleston know that the Eastern Panhandle isn't only a cash cow for the rest of the state but that more tax dollars need to be brought back to the area."

He said he will work to build better and safer roads, provide teachers and parents with the support they need in the classroom and in the home, and reform law in order to deal with frivolous lawsuits.

n Tom Grove, 37, of 919 Thompson St., Martinsburg, works at Boltz Hardware and is a radiation safety technician for Bartlett Nuclear.

"Most people look for the government to leave them alone. My idea would be to remove burdensome laws," he said.

Grove said he wants to work to curb spiraling personal taxes, improve educational opportunities, minimize crime and improve the state's business environment by promoting a good image of the state, which would attract more business and increase the revenue base for the area.

"I do not want to burden West Virginia residents with more regulations from Charleston," he said.

n Donald R. Shoemaker, 54, of 347 Lariat Drive, Kearneysville, is a controller for Cumberland Valley Fabricators in Hagerstown.

He is an appointed member of the Sheriff's Advisory Committee and the Community Relations Advisory Committee, and a U.S. Army veteran.

Shoemaker said the impetus behind his campaign is his frustration that West Virginia falls behind other states in categories such as business.

"I want to make changes in the business climate. It is a shame our children and grandchildren can't find jobs in the state. We are losing a viable resource," he said.

Shoemaker said he would work to pass legislation that would help decrease the cost of insurance from malpractice to car insurance.

"I will be a voice and neighbor in Charleston," he said.

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