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State Senate Candidates Agree to Debate

By Staff | Oct 19, 2016

The three candidates for a state Senate seat representing West Virginia’s 2nd District will go on the record about a variety of issues facing the Mountain State before an audience of their prospective constituents, during a debate planned for Monday in New Martinsville.

A debate among Republican nominee Dr. Mike Maroney, Democratic nominee Lisa Zukoff and Libertarian candidate H. John Rogers will take place from 7-8 p.m. Oct. 24 in Room 110 of West Virginia Northern Community College’s New Martinsville campus, located at 141 Main St. The event, which is open to the public, is sponsored by the Wetzel Chronicle, Tyler Star News, and The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register, in cooperation with WVNCC.

Maroney, Zukoff and Rogers are seeking the seat held for almost 20 years by state Sen. Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall, who opted to run for governor rather than seek another term in the Senate, losing to Jim Justice in the May Democratic primary. Sen. Kent Leonhardt, R-Monongalia, holds the district’s other seat.

The 2nd District includes much of Marshall County, all of Wetzel, Tyler, Doddridge, Ritchie and Calhoun counties and parts of Monongalia, Marion and Gilmer counties.

“One of a newspaper’s primary missions is to inform people, and debates among candidates for public office are an excellent way to accomplish that. They allow voters to learn how the candidates feel about important issues and to compare them, side by side,” said J. Michael Myer, executive editor of The Intelligencer and the Wheeling News-Register, who will moderate the debate.

Brian Clutter, Publisher of the Wetzel Chronicle and Tyler Star News added, “We are delighted to partner with our sister papers, The Intelligencer and the Wheeling News-Register, in presenting this debate between the contenders for the state Senate from the 2nd District. We also are grateful that West Virginia Northern Community College is working with us to present the event.”

Zukoff, of Moundsville, ran unopposed in the May Democratic primary, while Maroney, of Glen Dale, defeated Sistersville resident Ginger Nalley for the GOP nomination. Rogers, of New Martinsville, representing the Libertarian Party, filed for the office later and was placed on the ballot.

The debate takes place two days before the start of early voting in West Virginia on Oct. 26 at county courthouses throughout the Mountain State. Election Day is Nov. 8.