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Overington defeats George in 55th race

November 06, 2002|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

Vince George hoped he might unseat 18-year incumbent Del. John Overington, but as the votes came in Tuesday night, it became apparent that Overington would hold onto his seat.

Overington, 56, the second-most senior member in the House, will now start his 10th term. Overington received 2,099 votes to George's 1,357, according to complete but unofficial results.

Overington, of Bedington, W.Va., seemed calm at the courthouse as final results trickled in, writing down numbers on a yellow notepad.

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"My opponent worked hard, but I don't think he was in touch with the issues we're concerned with," Overington said, citing the expansion of W.Va. 9, tort reform, the medical malpractice crisis and capital punishment as issues he felt were important to his constituents.

Giving credit to George, Overington said his opponent worked hard, and went door-to-door more than he did.

"He had three times as many signs as I did," Overington said.

In an interview conducted before the election, George, 46, said he had hoped to eliminate the 6 percent tax on food and personal property taxes on automobiles, while increasing the per-pack tax on cigarettes, possibly up to $1.

Overington previously said his top priority was stopping lawsuit abuse. He also supports capital punishment, which is currently prohibited in West Virginia, and favors allowing law-abiding citizens to carry guns. He said the food tax should be phased out.

The 55th District covers communities along W.Va. 45 east and U.S. 11 north. Delegates receive $15,000 a year.

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