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Adams, Snyder eye open seat in W.Va. Senate

October 15, 2008|By DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - The race for a 16th District state Senate seat which represents Jefferson and most of Berkeley counties pits a Shenandoah Junction, W.Va., Democrat making a bid to return to the job against a Republican who stands for closing loopholes allowing abortion and restoring the death penalty, among other issues.

Democrat Herb Snyder and Republican Bob Adams will face each other in the Nov. 4 general election as they seek the four-year, $20,000-a-year job.

The seat is open because the incumbent Sen. John Yoder, R-Jefferson/Berkeley, did not seek re-election and is instead running for the Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge position currently held by Thomas W. Steptoe Jr.

Adams

Adams, 39, of 415 Paso Corto Drive, Kearneysville, said in a telephone interview that the state's economy is a crucial issue on the campaign.

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About the only resources sustaining state government is gambling and coal severance revenues and the state is ranked at or near the bottom of nearly every important national economic indicator, Adams said.

Adams said the state's move in 2005 to reform its workers compensation system was a "very important step. But we need to take it much further. We got a long way to go," Adams said.

A host of issues need to be addressed, said Adams, including the state's high corporate net tax, which is about 2 percent higher than the corporate net tax in neighboring Virginia. Until that tax is reduced, along with work on other issues, higher-paying jobs will remain elusive to the Eastern Panhandle, said Adams, who with his wife operates Great Inflates, a party equipment rental company.

Adams said he also supports closing loopholes allowing underage children to obtain abortion without knowledge of their parents and also supports reinstatement of the death penalty for crimes like murder.

Snyder

Snyder, 55, of 1113 Shenandoah Junction Road held his 16th Senate seat from 1997 to 2004 and he was a Jefferson County Commissioner from 1991 to 1996.

While in the state Senate, Snyder served as vice chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and also was chairman of the Senate Labor Committee and Interstate Cooperation Committee.

While he was in the Senate, Snyder said he either wrote or was instrumental in legislation that increased funding for local public schools, created a new Division of Motor Vehicles office in Jefferson County and reorganized state police to allow a new headquarters in Bardane.

Due to his experience in the Senate, Snyder said he believes he could quickly move back into a leadership role to effectively represent the Eastern Panhandle, according to his Web site.

In a telephone interview, Snyder said while he has been away from the Senate, he has continued to observe how the Eastern Panhandle's needs are largely ignored by the rest of the state, a common frustration held by local office holders.

"That's painful for me to watch, knowing how all that works down there," said Snyder, who owns and operates his own environmental laboratory.

The other 16th Senate seat is held by Sen. John Unger, D-Berkeley/Jefferson.

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