GOP making gains in WV Legislature - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

GOP making gains in WV Legislature

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West Virginia lawmakers are in the middle of the first full week of the legislative session, and it comes as the tide of the two political parties seems to be getting closer to evening up.

The Democrats have controlled the legislature for several years and still do during this current legislative session, but the Republican Party is starting to make gains in Charleston.

"Often times we get crumbs that are left on the table but now quite frankly there are enough Republicans that everyone has to pay attention to the other members," says Delegate Marty Gearheart, (R) Mercer County.

Here's the break down in the house in 1994, 69 Democrats and 31 Republicans.  Fast forward 20 years and Republicans pick up 15 seats. In the Senate 20 years ago there were 2 Republicans.  Today there are ten.

"We're never happy when any party is making gains over the Democratic Party," says Larry Puccio, Chairman of the West Virginia Democratic Party, but he  is quick to point to the results of the last election.

"Out of all the elections Democrats won 67% of the elections that left 33% for the Republicans.  We will always be pleased when we are winning those types of numbers," says Puccio.

He adds Republican gains don't necessarily mean pay more attention to their issues.

"If we are doing our job right we pay attention to anyone that proposes something that helps the people of West Virginia," says Puccio.

"We work with the people you are with and it's not one party versus another.  We need to do the job and get it done. That's what we are hear for and a lot of people don't have that attitude," says Delegate Joe Ellington, (R) Mercer County.

During the November General Election, all 100 seats in the house of delegates and half of the state senate seat are up for grabs

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