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Beach announces plan to run for Monongalia County Commission

MORGANTOWN — Sen. Bob Beach, D-Monongalia, announced in the fall that he would not seek reelection to the West Virginia Senate.

It appears his focus has shifted a bit closer to home.

On Friday evening, Beach took to Facebook Live to announce his plans to seek the Central District seat on the Monongalia County Commission.

“The time has come to step up again, and following conversations I’ve had just as recently as yesterday, I’ve decided to put my name in the hat and file my papers to run for county commissioner in Monongalia County. I’ll do the paperwork next week,” Beach told about two dozen viewers.

At the end of the current term, Beach will have been in office 21 1/2 years — starting in the House and then moving to the Senate, where he served as Transportation chair until the GOP took over as the majority party.

He noted that during an unsuccessful run for Commissioner of Agriculture in 2020, Monongalia County was one of the counties he carried.

“Since probably November, folks have asked, prodded me, to step up and seek public office again. So I’ve spent the last, I don’t know, two months almost, trying to get information and just get a feel for this public office and where I would fit in,” he said.

“We’ve identified a few weaknesses within the county commission. One of those is being the nature of the contact or interactions with those in the rural areas. We believe there are some weaknesses there.”

As of Friday evening, there are two county commission candidates registered with the Monongalia County Clerk’s office, both Republicans — incumbent Sean Sikora, who is seeking a second six-year term in the seat, and Charles Hartzog.