Klempa Announces State Senate Run

WHEELING – Current Delegate Orphy Klempa has decided he will seek a state Senate seat in 2010.

Klempa, D-Ohio, previously filed to run for re-election in the 3rd House District, but this morning he said he withdrew the filing and submitted the papers for a run in the 1st Senate District to the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office. The office’s Web site did not yet reflect those changes as of 10:15 a.m. today.

Klempa’s decision came the day after incumbent state Sen. Ed Bowman, D-Hancock, announced he would not seek re-election to a fifth term.

Presently in Charleston for the regular legislative session, Klempa, 58, said a phone discussion late Thursday night with his wife Mary Jo convinced him she would be on board with his run for the Senate.

“Mary Jo is not always one to tell me what she really thinks – she’s always supportive of me,” Klempa said. “But she encouraged me to run, and that was heartfelt.

“I already had the support of everyone else who supported me in the past.”

He acknowledged that serving in the Senate would be different from his present job in the House. The 1st Senate District, which includes Hancock, Brooke and Ohio counties, is double the size of 3rd House district primarily covering just Ohio county.

“And I’m a door to door guy,” Klempa said. “I like to get out and meet people, but it would be physically impossible to make it to all the rural areas. You will see me in the towns, though.”

Klempa noted he does know many people living in the northern half of the 1st Senate District, and he hopes to build on those relationships in the coming months.

“I want to get out and start putting faces to the names,” he continued. “I want to let them know I will work as hard for them as I always have the people of Ohio County.

“I also want Ohio County to know it is still important to me.”