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Five candidates on ballot for 52nd District race

May 09, 2002|BY SARAH MULLIN

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Two Republicans and three Democrats are on their parties' ballots in the race for the 52nd District House of Delegates seat in Tuesday's primary election.

Only two of the Democrats live within the boundaries of the 52nd District. The other Democratic candidate, Michael Law, lives a mile outside the 52nd District and is encouraging people to not vote for him in Tuesday's primary.

The top vote-getter from each party will run in the Nov. 5 general election.

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

The 52nd District covers a large portion of Berkeley County and three precincts in Morgan County.

Primary candidates include:

n Claiborne B. Lashley, a Democrat, said the cornerstone of his campaign is centered around quality-of-life issues.

Lashley, 46, of 6122 Dry Run Road, Hedgesville, W.Va., said he would work toward cutting the consumer sales tax for West Virginians by 3 percent, adding that taxes paid by citizens "foot 50 percent of the revenue for the state."

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Other issues in his campaign are tax relief for small businesses, lower drug costs for seniors, accountability for economic development and judicial reform dealing with malpractice and frivolous lawsuits. He also cites as issues enhancement of school facilities to accommodate more public accessibility and increased funding for local programs.

Lashley is a freelance lighting director for television and the feature film industry, and a small business owner.

n Craig P. Shibley, a Democrat, said he wants to bring a "consensus to the legislation."

"This is an area with the most potential and it gets passed over when funds are divvied out. I want to bring the Eastern Panhandle delegates together," said Shibley, 34, of 115 Michelle Drive, Hedgesville.

Shibley said he supports zoning, calling it the heart of long-term planning. If elected, he would work to get economic initiatives geared toward the small business owner in the area, and rally for tax incentives for developers who build or rehabilitate historical structures and areas that would "give the area a positive facelift," he said.

Shibley has owned his own business, Tega Media, for three years. He previously worked in professional broadcasting for 10 years.

- Craig P. Blair, a Republican, said he wants to "bring all the delegates, senators and county commissioners together from the Eastern Panhandle, find our common-ground issues and resolve our remaining differences."

Blair, 42, of 167 Wasser Drive, Martinsburg, W.Va., said he would work toward finding solutions to the growth that affects the school system, transportation networks and the economic base in the area. He also said he would work toward eliminating telemarketing.

Blair is the owner of Sunset Water Inc. and Professionals' Choice, and marketing director for Artesian Software.

- Jerry Mays, a Republican, said that after a lifetime of service, running for a delegate seat seems to be the "logical progression" to continue that service.

Mays, 59, of 211 Sudley Lane, Martinsburg, said he hopes to create more and better jobs so that the younger generations do not leave the state for better opportunities. He said he would like to reform the tax systems to help the working and middle class, reform the legal system to eliminate frivolous lawsuits, upgrade roads, strengthen classroom discipline and ensure that the health care system is more responsive to the needs of the residents, especially senior citizens.

Mays retired after 31 years from the National Security Agency and is a U.S. Air Force veteran. He is a member of the Berkeley County Ambulance Authority.

- Law, 45, of 10239 Martinsburg Road, Hedgesville, lives in the 51st District, which would have made him ineligible to run in the 52nd. He lives a mile away from the district line. Law's name will appear on the ballot because the mistake was discovered after the ballots were printed.

Law's campaign manager and wife, Vicky Law, said Law has stopped campaigning and has encouraged people not to vote for him during the primary election.

Vicky Law said if her husband wins the primary, he will attempt to withdraw his name from the general election ballot.

Should Law win the Democratic primary, he will move on to the general election unless he is challenged by another candidate or a suit is filed against him in Circuit Court by anyone who wants to contest the issue, said Terri Helmick, director of public division for the State Secretary's Office.

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