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Wetzel-Tyler Newspapers To Sponsor Senate Debate

By Staff | Oct 10, 2018

Local residents will have the opportunity to see and hear two candidates for the state Senate up close and personal when they answer questions during a candidate forum in New Martinsville.

Both incumbent state Sen. Charles Clements, a Republican, and challenger Denny Longwell, a Democrat, have agreed to participate. The event will be held from 7-8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22, in Room 110 of the West Virginia Northern Community College campus at 141 Main St., New Martinsville. It is being sponsored by the Wetzel Chronicle and the Tyler Star-News. Lauren Matthews, editor of the newspapers, will question the candidates on a variety of issues. J. Michael Myer, executive editor of The Intelligencer and the Wheeling News-Register, will serve as moderator.

Longwell and Clements will face off during the Nov. 6 general election, to represent West Virginia’s Second Senatorial District. It includes Wetzel, Tyler, Ritchie, Doddridge and Calhoun counties, as well as parts of Marshal, Monongalia, Marion and Gilmer counties.

The candidate forum is open to the public, at no charge. Refreshments will be available.

Both candidates are New Martinsville residents.

Clements is a 1961 graduate of Scott High School in Madison, W.Va. and a 1966 graduate of West Virginia University. He served two years on active duty with the U.S. Army and an additional seven years in the Army Reserve. He was the owner of Clements Oil Company from 1970 until 2004. He worked at H&R Block from 2004 until his appointment to the state Senate in 2017.

Clements served in the House of Delegates from 2005-2008. He is serving as the executive director of the WV2 and Interstate 68 Authority and was appointed to the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Highways. Gov. Jim Justice appointed Clements to fill the Senate seat vacated when Kent Leonhardt was elected to become state commissioner of agriculture.

Clements was married to Eugenia Morris on March 1, 1968. They have two children and four grandchildren.

Denny Longwell is a military veteran. He worked for 14 years in construction as a member of Ironworkers Local 549 (Wheeling). He worked 16 years at Conalco (Hannibal) in the Maintenance Department. He worked for 18 years for the Steelworkers Union.

Longwell is married to Wetzel County native, Susie Huggins (Longwell). Longwell has one daughter, one step-daughter, one step-son and three grandchildren.

Longwell retired June 1, 2014. He is an amateur radio operator. He is a member of the Moose Lodge, New Martinsville. Longwell is a registered Democrat and was honored by the State Democratic Party in November 2017, being awarded the Chairwoman’s Award for 2017.