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Democrats pick Frankenberry for commission race

May 26, 2006|by ROBERT SNYDER

MARTINSBURG, W.VA. - A 28-year-old graduate of West Virginia University and lifelong resident of Berkeley County was nominated as the Democratic candidate for county commissioner following a committee meeting Thursday.

Ryan Frankenberry of Glengary, W.Va., was the Berkeley County Democratic Executive Committee's overwhelming choice to represent the party in November's general election against Republican candidate Bill Stubblefield.

Committee members made their selection during a special meeting Thursday after being informed the day before that their request for an extension to the state elections board had been denied, said party Chairman John Fink.

Party members had 21 days since the death of candidate Sonny Brown on May 5 to select a replacement. Today is the last day for the party to make a selection.

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Fink, who indicated he has requested a reason for the election board's rejection of the group's extension request, said the committee called the special meeting to avoid having to verify the residency eligibility of a candidate at the last minute.

"I didn't want us not to have time to find somebody who was qualified," said Fink, adding he fielded more than 300 phone calls during the party's recent nomination exercise.

Frankenberry, who graduated from Musselman High School in 1996 and from West Virginia University in 2000 with a degree in political science, said his candidacy is part of an effort to demonstrate his sense of indebtedness to the community following his recovery from a much-publicized brutal attack during a carjacking in 1995 that left him badly injured.

"I've lived my life since then to provide a service to the community," said Frankenberry, who calls the day of the attack, Nov. 28, 1995, his second birthday.

Frankenberry, who has served as president of the Berkeley County Democratic Association and worked on the campaign of 2nd Congressional District candidate Mike Callahan, declined to discuss positions he would take as a candidate for county commissioner. He said he hopes his candidacy will bring out voters.

"I hope to get people involved in the process," Frankenberry said. "I'll work nonstop to generate interest."

Frankenberry is expected to formally file his candidacy application at the county courthouse in Martinsburg today.

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