Appointed, unaffiliated candidates join delegate races

The list of candidates for local House of Delegates races is now complete following the final addition of appointed and unaffiliated candidates to the Nov. 6 general election ballot.

In the 2nd District, Wellsburg city worker Trevor Barnhart has filed to run as an Independent candidate and Beech Bottom Mayor Becky Uhlly has been appointed to a Republican vacancy on the ballot. They will challenge Democratic nominee Delegate Phil Diserio for election.

Barnhart, 25, of Follansbee, works in wastewater operations for the city of Wellsburg. He is a 2011 graduate of Brooke High School.

“This is always something I wanted to do since I can remember,” he said. “I never liked political parties. I want to represent the people. If I run as an Independent, I can focus on people and what needs to be done rather than pleasing parties.

“I agree with some things parties say and disagree with others,” he said. “Everything is not black and white. It’s gray.”

Barnhart said he would focus on job creation and seek ways to increase the population.

“There are not enough people in the area to grow the economy,” he said. “Kids go off to college to get a degree, and the jobs they get qualified for don’t exist here. We really have to start thinking about how we can grow, because we are staying stagnant.”

Uhlly, 65, worked in the Beech Bottom post office for 10 years and at the Brooke County Board of Education before moving on to work with Blue Cross-Blue Shield. She retired with disability after sight issues left her legally blind. A former member of Beech Bottom Council, she is in her second term as mayor.

Uhlly also sits on the board for the Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle, and the Brooke-Hancock Metropolitan Planning Commission. She is a graduate of Brooke High School.

“There are so many not as fortunate as me,” she said. “I’m lucky enough still to get a paycheck and be employed. There are so many people in my position who need transportation and help, and there’s not much around here.”

The issue of the area’s aging population also hits home with her because both of her parents died in a nursing home.

She is also excited about the potential for economic development coming to the area.

“We’re getting a new bridge in Brooke County, and we have 200 acres of flat land,” Uhlly said. “That much land is very scarce in the Ohio Valley, and there are big changes coming to the area.”

Wheeling photographer Ben Schneider, a Democrat, has been appointed to fill a vacancy on the 3rd District ballot. Two will be elected in the race from among him and fellow Democrat, Delegate Shawn Fluharty, and Republicans Delegate Erikka Storch and Dalton Haas.

Schneider, 67, is owner of Schneider Photography in Wheeling, and he lives just one door down from Storch on Edgwood Street in Woodsdale. Fluharty lives just a few steps away on Walnut Street.

Schneider is a 1965 graduate of the former Triadelphia High School and he attended the former West Liberty State College before being drafted into the U.S. Army. After his military service, Schneider returned to West Liberty to achieve his degree in commercial art with an emphasis on photography.

Schneider opened his studio in 1973. A member of the Civil Air Patrol, he provides aerial photography when needed by government agencies.

“I’ve never been dishonest, and the dishonesty I’ve seen in government bothers me,” he said. “There are no ethics anymore. This will destroy us, and kill this nation.

“There’s too much money in our election process,” he said. “This blocks out a lot of capable people who could run, but don’t have the money. It also opens the door for corruption.”

Schneider said he favors open records in government and open government proceedings.