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Unger holding off Mays' challenge in 89th District

November 08, 2006|by MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - State Sen. John Unger on Tuesday night appeared well on his way to a third term in the West Virginia Legislature, fending off what observers had predicted would be a stiff challenge from Berkeley County Republican Party leader Jerry Mays, according to unofficial results.

With all 59 precincts of the 16th Senatorial District tabulated in Berkeley County, Unger, 37, received 11,081 votes or 63.1 percent. With 14 precincts counted out of Jefferson County's 30 precincts, Unger received 2,406 votes or 69.3 percent.

Mays, 64, received 6,467 votes in Berkeley County or 36.8 percent. In Jefferson County, Mays received 1,059 votes or 30.5 percent.

Unger's apparent win, means he could become the third-longest serving state senator to be elected from Berkeley County, assuming he completes the term. State Senators are paid $15,000 per year.

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A federal government retiree, Mays, of 211 Sudley Lane, Martinsburg, had campaigned that he was the candidate who was "most representative" of the district's voters.

A homeland security adviser for the U.S. Department of Energy, Unger of 1022 Williamsport Pike, Martinsburg, credited the community for his own success.

"We really have an opportunity for the next four years to build a better, brighter tomorrow for our residents here," Unger said before the election.

Unger touted his efforts to get W.Va. 9 widened, a new Division of Motor Vehicles office for Jefferson County and locality pay for at least some local state workers.

"We've been making progress in the last three years," Unger had said. "When I first went to Charleston eight years ago, we couldn't get anything passed out of the Senate."

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