Walter E. Duke is again seeking the voters’ stamp of approval to continue representing the people of Martinsburg and Berkeley County in the West Virginia legislature.
Duke, a Martinsburg Republican who represents the 61st District, said he is proud of what he has helped accomplish over the last 10 years.
“Republicans like me have been the driving force in working with those across the aisle that has led to reforming workers comp, phasing out sales tax on food, reducing high business taxes that harm job creation and doubling the Senior Citizen Tax Credit,” Duke said in a news release.
He also said he and fellow Republicans helped reform West Virginia’s school funding formula to bring millions more dollars back to Eastern Panhandle counties; got full funding for counties with increased school enrollment; ended the medical malpractice crisis that was driving doctors out of West Virginia; passed stronger government transparency and ethics laws; paid down the unfunded liability of retirement systems; tackled Other Post-Employment Benefits; and put West Virginia on a solid financial footing, he said in the release.
Duke and Democrat Jason Barrett of Martinsburg are running unopposed in the May 8 primary election.
Duke said there are still major issues on the state’s plate: fighting back against harmful federal mandates, policies and encroachments that hurt the state, including Obamacare, the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s war on coal, No Child Left Behind and the federal READ ID Act; determining how to manage the potential wealth brought by Marcellus Shale natural-gas development; attacking substance-abuse issues; and bringing more government reforms to foster a better climate for job creation, as well as reforms creating more local control, citizen empowerment and a state government that is held accountable for its performance.
Duke began serving in the legislature in 2003 after being elected from the old 54th Delegate District in November 2002, and has been re-elected every two years since.
He was a double major in business and social studies, and holds a Bachelor of Arts from Shepherd University, a Master of Arts from West Virginia University, and has 45 hours of degree work beyond his master’s degree. Duke is a former Berkeley County high school social studies teacher who retired after 33 years, and also has experience in both retail management and management consulting.
He and his wife, Mary Shipe Duke, have lived for the last 34 years at 112 Tavern Road in Martinsburg, where they raised their family.
Duke currently serves as the minority chair on the House of Delegates Education Committee, and is also a member of the House of Delegates Political Subdivisions, Natural Resources, Pensions and Retirement, Senior Citizens Issues, and House Rules committees. He also serves on the Employee Suggestion Award Board.
Editor’s note: This is another in a series of Eastern Panhandle candidate previews that The Herald-Mail will be running over the next several months. The announcements also will be posted on our website, www. herald-mail.com, through the West Virginia primary on May 8. To submit announcements, email them and a color photo (preferably a jpeg) to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Any questions? Call 301-791-7281.