CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia’s longest serving member of the House of Delegates is not seeking reelection.
Delegate John Overington told MetroNews Friday that after more than 30 years he felt it was time.
“I’ve enjoyed my service over the last third of a century, 34 years,” he said. “At 71 (years old) I wanted to move on and do some other things.”
Overington said he originally ran more than three decades ago to help the state.
“Improving the business climate, making West Virginia business friendly so that people have the opportunities in this state.”
He said the state has made a lot of headway over the last four years since Republicans have been in control of the House and Senate.
Overington said he’s been weighing the decision for some time.
“It’s something that I’ve been thinking about since last fall,” he said. “Especially now that a lot of the goals I had have now been accomplished.”
Overington represents the 62 Delegate District in the northern part of Berkeley County.
Republican Tom Bibby has filed to run for the seat. The filing deadline is Saturday at midnight.
Overington’s departure is one of many hitting the Republican majority all at once.
Last Friday, House Speaker Tim Armstead announced that he does not intend to run for re-election. He suggested he is interested in running for state Supreme Court in 2020.
Several Republican delegates, including Carol Miller, Marty Gearheart and Rupie Phillips are running for Congress in the Third District.
Delegate Lynn Arvon was named this week to a state Senate seat that opened when Senator Jeff Mullins resigned. She says she’ll be running for that seat in the 2018 election.
Some have made other plans. Kelli Sobonya of Cabell County is running for county commission, Saira Blair of Berkeley County is pursuing a masters degree in business administration and Roger Romine of Doddridge County is stepping aside after 17 years.
Some Democrats also won’t be seeking re-election. For example, Delegate Justin Marcum, D-Mingo, announced on Thursday that he would be withdrawing his previously announced candidacy for state Senate and won’t be running for House either. He cited family balance.