Gerrardstown resident to seek House of Delegates seat

July 06, 2007|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A former Army National Guard military police officer announced Friday he will seek the Democratic Party's nomination for the 52nd District seat in the West Virginia House of Delegates.

In a press conference outside the Berkeley County Courthouse, Ken Mattson, 37, of Gerrardstown, W.Va., said voters in the district have a number of needs that are not being heard in Charleston.

"Crime is growing as rapidly as our property taxes," Mattson said.

If Mattson becomes the Democratic Party's nominee, he likely would challenge incumbent Del. Craig Blair, R-Berkeley.

Blair, 47, of Hedgesville, W.Va., said Friday he will seek a fourth term in the House, but likely will not officially announce his candidacy for re-election until later this year or early 2008.

"I'm expecting to run again, and I am excited about the fact that (Mattson is) going to be in the race with me," Blair said.


A Catonsville (Md.) High School graduate, Mattson said he enlisted in the Army National Guard in 1993 and served with the 200th and 290th military police companies based in Salisbury and Pikesville, Md.

Mattson said he moved to West Virginia in 2001 after marrying his wife, Lorie Mattson, who joined him at the press conference along with his father and stepmother.

Mattson said he is a horseshoer by trade, and also works at Sportsplex Indoor Sports & Event Center in Winchester, Va., as a hockey referee. He also is a part-time Head Start teacher's aide.

Mattson was introduced by House Majority Leader Joe DeLong, D-Hancock, who said he also planned to visit with area business and community leaders over the weekend before returning to the Northern Panhandle on Sunday.

"We're excited about his candidacy," DeLong said.

DeLong also said Mattson appeared to fit the bill as a progressive candidate who could encourage teamwork among area lawmakers while also helping continue the agenda of he and other House leaders who assumed control of the chamber in January.

"We feel that we have made some great strides in our first session," DeLong said.

The 52nd District includes a small portion of eastern Morgan County and sections of Berkeley County that primarily are north and west of Martinsburg, including the communities of Little Georgetown, Spring Mills, Allensville and Tomahawk. The district also includes portions of Back Creek Valley, south of Martinsburg, according to county voting district maps.

More information about Mattson's campaign can be found at and

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