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Manuel wins another term in W.Va. House

November 06, 2002|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Del. Dale Manuel sailed to victory over Republican Fred Blackmer in Tuesday's election, according to complete, but unofficial returns.

With all 29 precincts reporting, Manuel, D-Jefferson, received 2,333 votes compared to Blackmer's 1,638 votes, according to unofficial returns.

Manuel maintained his 58th District House seat despite statements from Blackmer that the state has failed to address issues such as regulation of all-terrain vehicles, state debt, reliance on gambling for state revenues and huge deficits in the Public Employees Insurance Agency.

Blackmer said Manuel has been in office for 14 years and only now is Manuel saying there is a problem with the PEIA.

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Blackmer said Manuel is "part of the problem, not part of the solution."

Manuel defended his record, saying the PEIA deficit has been difficult to deal with because the numbers are constantly changing.

The deficit has been aggravated by spiraling health-care costs, but lawmakers have worked to reduce those costs by instituting smoking-cessation programs and other proactive health programs for state employees, Manuel said.

Manuel, 54, of 104 Porter Way, Charles Town, said regulation of all-terrain vehicles is a concern to him as well.

Manuel said he has been a leading voice for regulation of all-terrain vehicles in the Legislature, but has faced opposition.

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