MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The contest for Berkeley County's 16th Senatorial District pits a two-term Democrat incumbent against a former chairman of the county's Republican Executive Committee.
Martinsburg resident Jerry Mays announced in January he was running to unseat Sen. John Unger, whom he described as not responsive to constituent requests and frequently absent from his district.
"We hear constantly that our needs in the Eastern Panhandle are different from the rest of the state and these differences demand a senator who will work full time with the rest of the Eastern Panhandle delegation, who will be responsive to the voters of Jefferson and Berkeley counties, who will follow through on legislative initiatives, who will be here to see that your calls are answered and that an immediate response is forthcoming," Mays said.
Unger said he announced his campaign for a third term in the Senate one door at a time to county residents during a series of weekend campaign appearances last month. He called allegations of nonresponsiveness a misrepresentation, noting his work to bring a new police barracks to Martinsburg, a Department of Motor Vehicles office to Jefferson County, and work on behalf of Berkeley County's farmland protection board and parks and recreation agency.