New roles could help Panhandle

Many area residents often see a disconnect between the Northern Panhandle and our capital in Charleston.

Hopefully that will change with some of the news we’ve seen in recent days.

In the last week, two of our region’s legislators have been named to prominent legislative leadership positions, and we believe it will help to further raise the profile of our area.

Del. Randy Swartzmiller, of Hancock County, was named speaker pro tempore of the House of Delegates, and Larry Edgell, of Wetzel County, was named president pro tempore of the Senate.

Both men now sit in the No. 2 seat of each chamber of the Legislature, just behind Speaker Rick Thompson and Senate President Jeff Kessler, also a Northern Panhandle representative.

These two men now will be charged with helping to guide the legislative process for the 81st Legislature. With their experience in the Legislature, we are certain they will do a great job and serve, not only their constituents, but all of West Virginia well.

Our hope also is that having them in these leadership positions also will encourage more of our state’s legislators to learn about the Northern Panhandle, its people and its needs.

Again, we congratulate Del. Swartzmiller and Sen. Edgell on their appointments and wish them well as we approach the start of this year’s legislative session.