Edgell Won’t Seek Wetzel County Commission Seat
Former state legislator Larry Edgell has decided not to seek a seat on the Wetzel County Commission in 2016, choosing instead to retire from public life and spend more time with family.
Edgell, a Democrat, lost his state Senate seat to Monongalia County Republican Kent Leonhardt in 2014, ending a 16-year run in the Legislature. He announced plans to run for commission in September, but said Wednesday that, after much thought, he has reconsidered.
“It was a great experience, but it’s time to relax and enjoy the rest of my life,” Edgell said of his career in public service.
He said he has some family members facing health problems, and he and his wife, Ceci, want to spend more time with their four grandchildren, one of whom was just born last month. They also want to do more traveling.
Edgell, who turned 69 in November, would be 76 at the end of the six-year commission term up for election next year.
“I don’t know if I can go through another year of campaigning, to tell you the truth. … I’ve had a long run,” he said. “It’s time to let the younger folks come in and take over.”
Edgell, who spent 30 years as a teacher, began his career in elected office on New Martinsville City Council. He was first elected to the state Senate in 1998, representing the 2nd District – a 10-county area that includes part of Marshall County and all of Wetzel and Tyler counties.
He said he’s most enjoyed getting to know the district’s residents along with its other senator, Minority Leader Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall, who is running for governor next year.
“There’s just a lot of good people out there,” he said.
He said whoever is elected to the open commission seat next year will have plenty on his or her plate – another factor in his decision to withdraw his name from consideration.
“They’re at the courthouse five days a week,” Edgell said of the county’s current commissioners, Robert Gorby, Larry Lemon and Donald Mason.
The candidate filing period for the 2016 election in West Virginia runs from Jan. 11-30.