A Dozen Seeking Vacant 1st District Senate Seat

Twelve local residents want to represent the 1st District in the West Virginia Senate.

The 1st District Senate Replacement Committee meets at 1 p.m. today at the Brooke County Library to consider the dozen resumes submitted by candidates seeking to fill the vacant 1st District seat. Interested candidates had until 5 p.m. Wednesday to submit their applications.

Committee members will decide today the three candidates they will recommend to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin for appointment, as the governor will then select one of these three to serve.

Among the applicants are 10 Ohio County residents, and two from Hancock County.

Those submitting resumes from Ohio County – all Wheeling residents – are Frank Calabrese; Ohio County Democrat Party Chairman Robert “Rocky” Fitzsimmons; former Ohio County Magistrate Rose Humway; Cynthia Hutchison-McNally; retired Wheeling Fire Lt. David Palmer; Elizabeth Paulhus; James Radcliffe; Harry Sacco; former Wheeling Councilman James Tiu; and Robert Wycherley.

In Hancock County, Sam Love of Weirton applied, as did Sean Lauritzen of New Cumberland.

“We have apparently a diverse crowd of candidates,” said Teresa Toriseva, a member of the 1st District Senate Replacement Committee. “Certainly we will be able to submit three qualified names to the governor.”

Orphy Klempa, a Democrat, resigned the 1st District seat on Dec. 10 after being elected to a full term as Ohio County commissioner.

The 1st District encompasses Hancock, Brooke, Ohio and a portion of Marshall County – though it did not include Marshall County when Klempa was elected in 2010 to the four-year term that expires in 2014.

West Virginia law also states that no two senators can reside in the same county.

The second 1st District senator is Jack Yost, a Democrat living in Brooke County.

Members of the 1st District Senate Replacement Committee are Toriseva and Ohio County Democrat Party Co-Chairman John Saunders representing Ohio County; Brooke County Democrat Chairman John Martino and his wife, Marge Martino, representing Brooke County; and Lil Douglass and Dino Rossi, representing Hancock County.