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Two seek GOP nod for 53rd District seat

April 05, 2004|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

INWOOD, W.Va. - Dewey L. Largent Jr. and Victor "Vic" Roberts Jr. are both proud, lifelong Berkeley County residents who are seeking an elected office for the first time.

Largent, 55, and Roberts, 66, are Republicans seeking the primary nomination for the 53rd District House of Delegates seat held by Del. Larry Faircloth, R-Berkeley. Faircloth decided not to seek re-election and is instead running for governor.

The winner of the Republican primary election on May 11 will face Democrat Jerry Lynn Burton in the Nov. 2 general election. Burton is the only Democrat running for the seat.

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The 53rd District covers the West Virginia communities of Inwood, Pikeside, Glengary and Gerrardstown.

Delegates, elected every two years, make $15,000 a year.

Dewey Largent


Largent listed education as one of his priorities, saying prayer needs to be returned to schools and students need to be taught to respect their elders. Teaching students those principles will result in better schools, he said.

Largent, of Bunker Hill, W.Va., has worked for the past 30 years for Norfolk Southern Railroad. He plans to retire in four years.

He attended Hedgesville High School and later earned a GED. He described himself as an avid churchgoer who lives for God.

More jobs are needed not only in this area but throughout the state, he said. He said construction jobs should be awarded to in-state companies even if it means going with a slightly higher bid.

He believes the number of bars in the area needs to be limited.

"There's so many drunk drivers on the roads now," he said.

His son died as the result of a drunken-driving wreck in November 1995.

Bar owners should be held responsible if people are served too much alcohol and later cause an accident, he said.

Those on welfare who are able to work should work, although Largent said those who are handicapped should receive the help they need.

Also, he said all-terrain vehicles should not be allowed on paved roads.

Victor Roberts


Roberts, who lives in Inwood and retired in 1996 as the president of Blue Ridge Bank, formerly served as the executive director of the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Chamber of Commerce.

Roberts said he looks at the delegate position as representing the interests of the county and dealing with problems that arise from rapid growth.

"All the infrastructure problems are going to be related to growth," he said.

Local funding to fix such problems should be supplemented with state money, he said.

Traffic at the intersection of U.S. 11 and W.Va. 51 bottlenecks in Inwood, and flooding is a problem in the same general area.

"Those are the kind of problems I'd be looking at, trying to provide some assistance," he said.

Retaining good teachers, who sometimes accept jobs in surrounding states because of higher pay, is another priority, he said. Roberts said he would support locality pay.

He also believes ATVs should not be allowed on public roads.

Roberts, a Martinsburg High School graduate, previously worked in the administrations of Govs. Cecil Underwood and Arch Moore.

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