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Coffland Challenged For Commission Post

October 21, 2012
By JOSELYN KING - Political Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

Incumbent Belmont County Commissioner Matt Coffland, a Democrat, faces a challenge for his seat from Independent candidates Jerry Echemann and Doug Longenette.

- Coffland, of Shadyside, is a former Mead Township trustee who is completing his first four-year term as commissioner. He has owned the Tiger Pub in Shadyside for 20 years.

"I believe I am the best candidate for Belmont County commissioner because I have had the opportunity to serve four years in office as commissioner and have helped lead the county in the right direction," Coffland said. "For example, there are less people seeking unemployment; more people working in the county; expansion of local oil and gas companies; infrastructure improvements; lower county debt; better tax collections and state and national county recognition and contacts."

- Echemann, of Martins Ferry, moved to the Ohio Valley in 1980 after graduating from Ohio University and taking a job with WTRF-TV.

"I really want to get things done for the senior citizens of our county," Echemann said. " I have visited all our senior centers and have a good handle on what those needs are. They vary from center to center, but as a commissioner I will make sure we receive input before making any decisions that impact our seniors who have given so much to Belmont County.

- Longenette, of St. Clairsville, is director of human resources for United Dairy.

Longenette was first elected to Martins Ferry City Council in 2000, and he served on council until moving to St. Clairsville in 2008.

"I am experienced as a small business owner, having owned/co-owned four successful businesses," Longenette said. "But my 20-year career at United Dairy has also taught me the vital role and need for a strong labor force, fair wages and a cooperative spirit between labor and management."

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