Incumbents retain their seats in state House 49th, 5th District races

MORGANTOWN — Voters have prescribed a second term in Charleston for ER nurse Amy Summers, who was re-elected to the 49th House of Delegates on Tuesday night.

The Republican incumbent received 3,771 votes in the district, which takes in Taylor County and has one precinct apiece in Marion and Monongalia counties.

Her challenger on the Democratic ticket, George Abel, who served 23 years on White Hall town council, garnered 2,231 votes in the contest.

Summers, whose medical training landed her the vice chair spot on the House Health and Human Resources Committee, said she’ll continue to address the opiate crisis in the Mountain State.

During her first legislative session in January, lawmakers passed nearly three dozen bills in attempt to knock the shadow of addiction here.

As part of that legislative push, Summers noted treatment centers were removed from the certificate of need process — without gutting regulatory oversight in attempt to expedite their placement.

The idea, she said was to increase access to the overdose-reversal drug Narcan, while limiting pill counts when it comes to opiates.

Over-prescribing has long been the culprit of the crisis, she said.

That’s different now, she said, using the example of say, a person making a medical call to the hospital where she works in her day job.

“If you come to the ER with a sprained ankle, you’re not going to get more than a four-day supply of an opioid,” she said.

“It has been cut off, and that’s what it’s going to be.”

Pethtel wins second in 5th

Meanwhile, Dave Pethtel has also won his bid for a second term in the Wetzel County’s 5th House of Delegates ticket, which also has a precinct on the western end of Monongalia County.

The Democrat bested his Republican challenger Phillip Wiley by more than 900 votes.

Pethtel pulled in 3,073 votes to the 2,159 garnered by Wiley.

He previously served in the House from 1989-94, and was re-elected in 1999.

Pethtel is a retired educator with 40 years of experience in Wetzel County Schools. He is also vice president of the Clay-Battelle Health Sciences Association.

Tuesday’s vote totals won’t be official until canvassing.

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