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Delegate won't seek re-election next year

December 27, 2005|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Del. Vic Roberts said Monday being on the road more than he anticipated was one of the reasons he has decided to not to run for re-election next year.

Roberts said the West Virginia Legislature held five special sessions in the past year and he has decided he wants to spend more time with his family.

"As we get into our twilight years, sometimes we have to consider other priorities," said Roberts, R-Berkeley.

Nancy Myers, chairperson of the Berkeley County Republican Executive Committee, announced last week that Roberts would not run for a second two-year term and said the Republican party was saddened by the announcement from the longtime Gerrardstown, W.Va., resident.

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Myers said voters sent Roberts to Charleston, W.Va., because he already was known as a gentleman whose personal integrity was "beyond reproach" and because he had a long record of public service.

Roberts, 68, was elected to the 53rd delegate district seat when he defeated Democrat Jerry Burton in November 2004.

His term will end Dec. 1, 2006.

"When Roberts ran for office, he did not have to explain much about who he was and what he stood for because the voters already knew and respected him," Myers said in a press release.

Roberts has been pushing for legislation that would allow county government to regulate how late local bars can sell alcohol.

Roberts said he wants the legislation passed because of concerns about people who come to local bars at night after nightclubs in neighboring states have closed.

Bars in Virginia and Pennsylvania stop serving alcohol at 2 a.m., but nightclubs in West Virginia can serve until 3:30 a.m., Roberts has said.

Intoxicated people from other states often come to local bars and become involved in incidents that result in property damage and injuries, Roberts said.

A bill Roberts co-sponsored in the Legislature last year that would allow governments to control serving times in bars did not pass and Roberts said he thinks the chances for the bill passing the Legislature this year are slim. Roberts told local officials recently that state officials are concerned about loss of revenue.

If bars closed an hour and a half earlier, state officials are concerned about people not being able to play state-controlled video lottery machines in bars during that period, which would cut into state profits from the machines, Roberts said.

"It was an interesting and sometimes frustrating experience," Roberts said Monday of his time in the Legislature.

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