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Doyle, Snyder square off in 57th District

April 26, 2004|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.VA. - Del. John Doyle is seeking his seventh consecutive two-year term by going up against the son of a local state senator in the Democratic primary election on May 11.

The winner of the Democratic race between Doyle and Rod Snyder for the 57th District House of Delegates seat will face Republican Robert Murto in the Nov. 2 general election.

The job pays $15,000 a year.

Rod Snyder


Snyder, 23, of 221 Elm St., Shenandoah Junction, is the son of Sen. Herb Snyder, D-Jefferson, who also is seeking re-election this year.

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Snyder said he is happy with the endorsements he has received, and thinks it is indicative of people being frustrated with the representation they get in Charleston.

Snyder said he has received endorsements from the West Virginia AFL-CIO, the West Virginia Education Association, the Jefferson County Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers and the United Auto Workers.

When Snyder announced last year that he was running for Doyle's seat, he said his father never urged him to run. Snyder said he had conversations with his father about running, but the elder Snyder was "sort of taken aback" when his son decided to run.

Snyder said he became attracted to politics because he has always been intrigued by the legislative process.

Snyder said some people have asked him why he didn't run for a local office, like county commission. He said he is more interested in passing laws at the state level because it is exciting building the coalitions and consensus needed to pass legislation.

"When you have the fire in your belly, you have to run," Snyder said.

Snyder graduated magna cum laude from Eastern University, was the student body president there and has completed course work toward a master's degree in legislative affairs at George Washington University.

Snyder works as a government affairs specialist for CropLife America, a Washington trade association that lobbies for agriculture businesses.

Snyder said he is running for the Legislature because he is interested in issues like getting enough funding for local schools and believes he can motivate young people to get involved in politics.

Snyder said he is interested in exploring ways of improving patient care and reducing health-care costs, seeking the money Jefferson County needs for a second high school, accelerating widening of W.Va. 9 and making sure high-growth counties have enough school funding.

Snyder said he wants to convince young people to get more involved in politics and make them realize the decisions government makes today will affect them when they get older.

John Doyle


Doyle brushed off Snyder's comments about his endorsements, saying they are irrelevant since most of the organizations who support Snyder are based in Charleston. What matters is "what the individual voters think," Doyle said.

Doyle said another point to consider is that the West Virginia Education Association and the AFL-CIO have rarely endorsed him.

"This is really not a change," said, Doyle, 62, of Shepherdstown.

Doyle is running on his record to provide better schools, better jobs, better health care and better controls on growth.

Doyle said he worked hard to make sure Jefferson County Schools received money from the state School Building Authority and the state Economic Development Grant Committee for the construction of a second high school.

Doyle is strongly urging voters to approve a proposed $19 million school bond issue during the primary election, the last funding component for the new school.

Supporters of the bond say its passage is critical because if it fails, the $19 million awarded by the School Building Authority and the $6 million from the Economic Development Grant Committee will have to be returned to those two agencies.

"This is the best deal ever offered to a county by the state," Doyle said.

Doyle said his work to provide better jobs is illustrated by his sponsorship of several bills that set aside tax credits to help lure high-tech companies to the state.

The bills, which passed the Legislature, will dovetail with the school system's plan to offer a science and technology center in the new high school, Doyle said.

Doyle said his record of seeking better health care in the state included his push for a new program that allows businesses to pool their resources to buy health insurance for their employees.

Regarding controls for growth, Doyle said much has been accomplished. But he said more issues need to be addressed, such as allowing libraries to be funded by impact fees.

Doyle works as a real estate agent and radio talk show host for WRNR radio station near Martinsburg.

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