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Yoder leads in Senate race

November 03, 2004|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.VA. - Republican John Yoder held a commanding lead in the race for a 16th District state Senate seat in Tuesday's general election.

With 20 of 29 precincts reporting in Jefferson County, Yoder had 6,981 votes compared to Lance's 6,001 votes, according to incomplete, unofficial results.

With 50 of 59 precincts reporting in Berkeley County, Yoder had 13,609 votes to Lance's 8,931.

As of presstime, the unofficial totals for the two counties were 20,590 for Yoder and 14,932 for Lance.

The job, which involves representing Jefferson and Berkeley counties in the Senate, carries a four-year term. It pays $15,000 a year.

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Both candidates were looking to make a return to politics.

Yoder represented the same Senate district from 1992 to 1996, and the Harpers Ferry attorney has held other government jobs, including serving as a state circuit judge in Kansas from 1976 to 1980.

Lance has political experience that extends to the 1970s and includes work on the city, county and state levels.

When he was 23 years old, Lance was elected mayor of Ranson and led the city from 1978 to 1986. Lance was a Jefferson County Commissioner from 1986 to 1998 and was president of the West Virginia County Commissioners Association for two years.

Lance said it is important for the state to be more competitive in job creation and he proposed taking $50 million from the $150 million the state spends every year on economic development to help existing businesses expand.

Yoder said he wants to return to Charleston, W.Va., to address issues including high insurance rates and making sure the Eastern Panhandle has enough state funding to pay for new services needed because of population growth.

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