Lance opposes Snyder in Senate primary

April 19, 2004|By DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.VA. - Herb Snyder and Greg Lance, who once served together on the Jefferson County Commission, are locked in a contest to win the Democratic nomination for a 16th District State Senate seat.

The other 16th District Senate seat is held by Sen. John Unger, D-Berkeley, who is not up for re-election.

Democratic voters will choose between Snyder and Lance, who served together on the County Commission from 1990 to 1996, in the May 11 primary election.

Republicans voters will choose between John Yoder and Earl Wilbourne in the primary.

The Democratic and Republican victors will face each other in the Nov. 2 general election.

The job pays $15,000 a year.

Herb Snyder

Snyder said he is feeling good about two areas in which he says he has been successful: his legislative agenda in this year's session of the Legislature and dealing with a drinking problem.


Snyder was pulled over last Aug. 21 at the Jefferson County Fair and charged with first-offense driving under the influence and DUI over .10. The case is pending in Jefferson County Magistrate Court.

In a recent interview, Snyder said he has not had a "single drop" of alcohol since the incident at the fair.

"I got the professional help I needed and that's all behind me," said Snyder, who continues to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

Snyder, who is seeking his third four-year term, said he is "better, stronger and wiser than at any other time in my life."

Snyder made similar comments when he appeared before hundreds of Democrats at a recent candidates' dinner at Charles Town Races & Slots.

"I'm back," Snyder told the crowd.

Snyder, 50, of Shenandoah Junction, said his success in the recent session of the Legislature is a reflection of how well he is rebounding from what he has termed his drinking problem.

Snyder is proud of legislation he was able to guide through the Senate which allows high-growth counties such as Jefferson, Berkeley and Morgan to keep a larger portion of property taxes and use it for new school construction.

The added tax revenue would come from new houses placed on the tax rolls. Had the legislation been in effect this year, Berkeley County would have received $719,631 and Jefferson County would have received $533,507, Snyder said.

Snyder also is happy about his success in helping bring a new state Division of Motor Vehicles office to Jefferson County.

Local and state officials have been working to get a separate DMV office for Jefferson County residents so they will not have to drive to the DMV office in Martinsburg, W.Va., for driver's testing and taking care of business related to their cars, such as titling and registration.

Greg Lance

Lance has been a familiar face in local politics over the years, first as Ranson's mayor for eight years then as a member of the Jefferson County Commission for 12 years.

Lance also works as a pharmaceutical representative, which he said gives him the insight needed to address the health-care needs of the state.

It is his time in public office on which Lance has been focusing.

"I've been training for this job for 20 years and I'm ready to take it," said Lance, 48, of 774 Breckenridge Way, Shenandoah Junction, W.Va.

Lance has been actively involved in the West Virginia County Commissioners Association, which represents the interests of county governments across the state, and the West Virginia Municipal League, which represents the interest of cities across the state. Lance was past president of the West Virginia County Commissioners Association and was on the board of directors for the West Virginia Municipal League.

Lance said he is running for Senate because he wants to help the state reduce the workers' compensation debt and find ways to help businesses grow.

One proposal Lance said he has been pushing would take about a third of the $150 million the state spends every year on attracting new businesses and using the money to help existing businesses grow. The money could be used to provide low-interest loans to businesses to help with expansion, Lance said.

In his work for Wyeth Labs, Lance is a pharmaceutical representative for hospitals and doctors' offices in the Eastern Panhandle and other parts of the state as far away as Clarksburg, W.Va. Through his work, Lance said he understands the needs of state residents seeking affordable health care.

On local issues, Lance said it is important to expand high-tech infrastructure in the Eastern Panhandle to help it prosper in coming years. Lance said he would work with the governor's office and other local lawmakers to earmark funding for high-tech infrastructure projects.

Lance said it is important to expand high-tech infrastructure now because those services can be expanded along new highway systems, such as the expanded W.Va. 9, as they are being constructed.

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