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Swartzmiller Will Make Another Bid for West Virginia Senate Seat


WHEELING — Former delegate Randy Swartzmiller says the Legislature at the State Capitol in Charleston isn’t representing everyone equally, and he believes experienced lawmakers are needed there.

Swartzmiller, 61 and a New Cumberland resident, has filed as a Democrat for nomination to the 1st District seat in the West Virginia Senate. He previously served in the House of Delegates from 2000 to 2014, and from 2018-20.

He is seeking to fill the seat won by former Sen. William Ihlenfeld, D-Ohio, in the 2018 election. Sen. Owens Brown, D-Ohio, was appointed to the seat late last year after Ihlenfeld was sworn in as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia.

“With Sen. Ihlenfeld moving on, we have a void with experience,” Swartzmiller said. “I am running to give businesses and residents a senator who can hit the ground running by providing experience and a balance of representation and accountability. Sen. Ihlenfield did a great job for 1st District. He was a balance of Democrat and Republican, and that balance works.

“I have always had the ability to work well with others, do what is right on behalf of the residents of West Virginia. It’s not a hard thing to do.”

Swartzmiller said typically lawmakers have the same goals of achieving good roads in the state, bringing good-paying jobs and protecting people’s property rights.

“But in this political climate today, they just don’t trust their representatives or the politicians out there,” Swartzmiller said of the voters. “We have to get back where the people feel confident in who represents them. Government should be a partner with and not a boss in telling them what to do. We should be trying to work together.”

Swartzmiller also thinks “Charleston is picking up too many bad habits from Washington.”

“Instead of treating the people with respect, government is picking winners and losers,” he said. “We should be representing everyone equally as well as businesses.”

Higher taxes and bigger government have created bigger problems for West Virginians, as has population loss, according to Swartzmiller.

The state has lost over 55,000 residents since 2015, he said.

“Mostly these were young and skilled citizens, and this caused us to lose a congressional seat and another voice in Washington,” Swartzmiller said. “We’ve lost that many citizens, yet the Legislature grew government by creating the West Virginia Intermediate Court of Appeals. That will cost millions, and why are we growing government when we losing population?”

He said he has missed being in Charleston and giving the people of the Northern Panhandle “a voice” in the state capital.

“We don’t need 34 Democrats or 34 Republicans in the state Senate,” Swartzmiller said. “We need 34 common-sense West Virginians who will put partisan politics aside and bring true representation in Charleston back to the people who sent them there.”


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