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Doyle, Dungan compete for W.Va. 57th District delegate seat

October 27, 2008|By DAVE MCMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- Del. John Doyle, D-Jefferson, will attempt to fend off a challenge to his seat in the state Legislature when he faces Republican Betsy Dungan in the Nov. 4 general election.

The 57th district represents about 40 percent of the northeastern section of Jefferson County.

The term for the office is two years and the salary will be $20,000 starting in January.

Doyle

Doyle said he wants to return to Charleston, W.Va., to fight for more local control for Jefferson County in a highly centralized state government, and he touts the progress he has worked for such as increased funding for local schools, better land planning laws and tax reform.

Doyle, who is seeking his ninth consecutive term, said the Legislature two years ago supported his push to allow Jefferson County Schools to keep more of its tax revenue.

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Doyle, 66, of Shepherdstown, W.Va., said he also worked to protect Jefferson County from the worst parts of controversial House Bill 4511 in the last session of the Legislature. The bill allowed county residents to petition local government to put land-use laws up for a referendum.

Tax reform to help spur business growth has been a long-debated issue and Doyle said there has been success in reducing the state's franchise tax from .72 percent of capital to .2 percent of capital.

Doyle recently retired from work as a radio talk show host.

Dungan

Dungan grew up in New Orleans and said she watched people in that city turn from a state of apathy about local issues to being engaged citizens as the city struggled in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Dungan, 29, of 228 Prospect Ave., Harpers Ferry, W.Va., said the community could benefit if local residents would become that interested in local issues without a disaster to spur them.

To that end, Dungan said she hopes to inspire people about public service if she is elected to the 57th House seat.

Dungan, who has a background in the hospitality business, said West Virginia is not a business-friendly state and she wants to "help some of my Republican colleagues" on issues like tax reform and lessening burdensome regulations on business.

Dungan is the daughter of Anne and Gary Dungan. Gary Dungan is running for Jefferson County assessor.

Dungan attended Louisiana State University and Shepherd University, has worked in the restaurant business and taught horseback riding at New Orleans' only professional horseback-riding facility.

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