WETZEL COUNTY -Four Democrats are seeking to be the next Wetzel County commissioner.
The candidates, all Democrats, are Amy Jo Dieffenbauch, Cecilia Jane Ries, Allen Rush and incumbent commissioner Bob Gorby. No Republican candidate filed for the office.
Voters will choose one of the four in the May 8 primary election.
- Dieffenbauch said her main concern for the county centers on the drug problem that she believes is plaguing the area. "I believe the county commission should step up and offer some additional funds to the sheriff's department so they can hire more staff to fight ... the drug problem in the area," she said.
She said the county soon should begin to see additional tax dollars coming through natural gas production in the Marcellus Shale. She proposed using this money to help fight the battle against drugs. Dieffenbauch also said the county commissioners should be accessible to all residents, as "we have to listen to the voice of the constituents."
"I feel I'm the change we need here in Wetzel County, and also the voice that the public deserves," she said.
- Ries said she believes the county commissioners need to be "out and about" the county.
"Being a commissioner is a full-time job," she said, adding that people need to know their commissioners are there for the citizens not just at election time, but any time. "This county belongs to the residents of Wetzel County."
From the St. Joseph's Settlement area, Ries said she is a member of New Martinsville American Legion, Quota Club, Moose, and VFW Auxiliary in Moundsville.
- Gorby said during his 11-plus years in office, "We have accomplished quite a few projects. I want to continue to work seven days a week for the people." He cited work at the courthouse such as paving the parking lot, installing the elevator and cleaning the exterior as well as work at the 4-H camp where there are now 148 water and electric hookups for campers and all new blacktop roads on the property. Finally, he wanted to make clear that "the county commission has nothing to do with the roads." That is one issue about which he receives many phone calls.
- Rush said, "If elected, what I would like to do is work with our outlying towns and communities." He also wants to mainly work with the area's youth. Hopefully county revenue will increase along with the gas gathering activity and Rush said he would like to see the sheriff's department first in line for that. He also plans to work with local elected delegates to keep infrastructure improving, working to get whatever they can from the state to work on the road problems. "I won't promise you anything, but I'll do what I can do."