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A new face will serve 58th

November 01, 2008|By DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.VA. - Voters in the 58th House of Delegates district in Jefferson County will choose between Democrat Tiffany Lawrence and Republican Tomas Engle in Tuesday's general election.

Residents able to vote in the race are those who cast ballots at Wright Denny Elementary School, Charles Town Baptist Church, Charles Town Middle School, the Senior Center in Ranson, W.Va., and Ranson Elementary School.

The seat is open because the incumbent, Del. Locke Wysong, D-Jefferson, decided not to run for re-election.

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

Lawrence

Lawrence, a former Miss West Virginia, said she is emphasizing economic growth, health care and education in her campaign.

Whether it is called a teaching allowance, a cost-of-living adjustment or a housing allowance, Lawrence said some benefit needs to be established for Eastern Panhandle teachers to help them deal with higher costs of living.

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Many legislators have tried to get such a benefit - sometimes calling it locality pay - and Lawrence said perhaps one way to resolve the issue is to get other border counties in the state who are also dealing with the problem to partner with local counties to push for a solution.

"I'm just really looking forward to the real work in Charleston," Lawrence said.

Lawrence, 26, of 19 Baltic Lane, Ranson, said she supports putting medical records online for easier access and wants employers to be more sensitive to providing mental health care for employees, especially veterans.

Engle

Engle, 24, of 410 N. Mildred St., Charles Town, said he has lived in the area for about five years and moved here after his mother moved to the county to be closer to her job with United Airlines.

Engle, who is attending West Virginia University and studying accounting, said it's unfortunate when long-term "career politicans" represent citizens and said he wants to go to Charleston to address the problem with onerous business taxes like the food tax, the personal property tax on inventory, and the business and franchise tax.

Engle said in a statement on the Jefferson County Clerk's Web site that when he was asked by local Republican Gary Dungan about running, he "rejected it out of hand."

Engle said he thought he would be like many other young people in the state: come here for cheap college tuition and then "get the heck out of this crazy state with no jobs."

Engle said he later realized that he should run on a platform that brings attention to a lack of a future for youth in the state.

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