WHEELING, W.Va. — Amid this year’s contest for West Virginia Senate, the best money has been aloft for the two campaigns in the 1st Senatorial District breadth Senate Majority Baton Ryan Ferns (R-Ohio), a business owner, is adverse a claiming from Bill Ihlenfeld, a advocate with Bailey and Glasser and a above U.S. attorney.
“The voters, I don’t think, could accept a added audible adverse amid two candidates,” Ferns said.
On that point, Ihlenfeld, a Democrat, agreed. “I accompany a actual altered affectionate of angle and accomplishments to the accompaniment Senate.”
As of this writing, the latest banking disclosures from the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Arrangement showed Ferns had aloft $202,373 dollars for his re-election campaign, No. 1 amid all accompaniment Senate candidates, while Ihlenfeld was at No. 2 with contributions that totaled $152,479.
It’s a chase that about didn’t happen.
In February, Ihlenfeld launched his first-ever run for accessible arrangement back he was appointed to the ballot. The arrangement came afterwards no added Democrat filed to run in the 1st District and a acquaintance appropriate Ihlenfeld get involved.
“I wasn’t alike cerebration about. It wasn’t on my radar,” Ihlenfeld admitted. “I anticipation about abiding to accessible account at some point in time, but not in 2018.”
Ihlenfeld, 46, was an abettor prosecuting advocate from 1997 to 2010 in Ohio County and Brooke County afore actuality appointed U.S. Advocate for West Virginia’s Northern District from 2010 to 2016 at the advocacy of backward U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd.
His ancestor and grandfather, a accomplished ambassador of Wheeling, were additionally prosecutors.
Last year, Ihlenfeld was assassin as managing accomplice for Bailey and Glasser’s new Wheeling office.
If adopted to the accompaniment Senate, “I appetite to be a articulation for alive families,” said Ihlenfeld who’s been award abutment amid activity leaders and educators, two of the groups that targeted Ferns during this year’s nine-day exhibit from agents and academy account personnel.
Ferns, 35, was aboriginal adopted to the accompaniment House of Delegates in 2010 as a Democrat. He afflicted his affair amalgamation to Republican in 2013 and ran for accompaniment Senate in 2014 as a affiliate of the GOP.
In his 2014 race, Ferns exhausted bounden Senator Rocky Fitzsimmons (D-Ohio, 01), who had been appointed to the Senate in 2012, 52 percent to 48 percent — a aberration of 941 votes, according to official after-effects from the Secretary of State’s Office.
It was an big-ticket race.
Fitzsimmons spent added than $474,000 on it, with almost bisected of that bulk actuality money he loaned to his own campaign. Ferns’ expenditures for 2014 were aloof added than $300,000, including claimed loans, annal indicated.
“I’ve never had an accessible race,” Ferns said.
“I ran for the Senate absolutely because I acquainted like, if I’m giving up 100 canicule a year abroad from my ancestors and my accompany and my business, again I appetite to accomplish as abundant of an appulse as possible.”
He’s confused up the ranks bound with two years spent as armchair of the accompaniment Senate Health and Human Resources, cartoon on his assignment acquaintance as admiral and buyer of the Ryan Ferns Healthplex amid in Benwood.
Ferns was called majority baton in December 2016.
During his time in the Senate, Ferns said he’s been a key allotment of a Republican aggregation that’s “writing West Virginia’s bread-and-er improvement story.”
“What we’ve done in the aftermost four years back Republicans accept been in the majority is try to accomplish West Virginia a abode that is added adorable to own and accomplish a business because it’s clandestine advance from job creators that actualize jobs,” Ferns said.
“If you allocution to the citizens of West Virginia, what do they anticipate we charge most? It’s jobs. That’s consistently been the No. 1 priority.”
Higher-paying jobs is key, in Ihlenfeld’s view.
“People adulation their communities,” he said of the bodies he wants to represent in the 1st District.
“They appetite to see bigger for their communities. They appetite to see added jobs. They appetite the biologic botheration to be bankrupt up. They appetite to see the anchorage fixed, but they’re not giving up. I don’t apprehend that at all.”
The 1st Senatorial District includes all of Hancock County, Brooke County and Ohio County forth with a allocation of Marshall County — an breadth active amid Chester and Cameron.
It’s a arena that sits anon amid Pennsylvania and Ohio at a time of accelerated development in accustomed gas.
Both Ferns and Ihlenfeld were appointed to be allotment of two debates advanced of Election Day.
On Monday, Oct. 22, WTOV Television was hosting the aboriginal agitation at 7 p.m. at West Virginia Independence Hall.
The added agitation from The Intelligencer and Wheeling News Register was set for Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018 at West Virginia Northern Community College’s B&O Building in Wheeling.
As majority leader, Ferns has generally begin himself in the average of advancing debates on the accompaniment Senate floor.
“When are the best difficult, back things are the best heated, I anticipate that’s back I’m at my best,” he said.
“It is a altered position to be in as majority leader, but my top priority, my aboriginal antecedence is to the 1st Senate District. All decisions that I accomplish and all accomplishments that I take, I aboriginal accede the 1st Senatorial District and the Northern Panhandle that I represent, the bodies that I represent because that’s what I was adopted to do.”
If re-elected, Ferns said his 2nd appellation in the accompaniment Senate would be focused on acclamation bread-and-er development and basement needs in the Northern Panhandle with an added focus on the opioid epidemic.
Streamlining accompaniment government to annihilate decay is additionally a antecedence affair for him.
“I’m socially conservative. I’m fiscally bourgeois and my adversary is about the adverse of that,” Ferns said.
One of Ihlenfeld’s goals is to be the affectionate of baton on biologic issues in Charleston that, in his view, “we don’t accept appropriate now.”
“I would accompany a resume and adventures on the biologic affair that is abundant altered than my adversary and abundant altered than anyone abroad in Legislature,” Ihlenfeld said.
Ihlenfeld’s belvedere additionally includes bigger job training, enactment of an Addiction Action Plan, renewed focus on abeyant government bribery through an ambassador general’s position, the aishment of the tax on Social Security allowances and reforms for absolute belief rules.
If elected, “I’m activity to go to Charleston with an accessible mind,” Ihlenfeld pledged. “Some bodies ability say that I’m a fool, that’ll never happen, ‘You’ll never be able to do that,’ but I’m activity with an accessible apperception and a action that I appetite to assignment with everyone.”
Both Ferns and Ihlenfeld are citizenry of Ohio County and accept abysmal ancestors ties in the Northern Panhandle.
Ferns accelerating from Wheeling Central Catholic High Academy and Wheeling Jesuit University breadth he becoming his doctorate in concrete therapy.
Ihlenfeld accelerating from Wheeling Park High Academy and West Virginia University’s College of Law.
“My accomplished acumen for actuality actuality (in Charleston) is I appetite to see the Northern Panhandle and the Accompaniment of West Virginia improve,” Ferns said.
Though he differs on how to do that, Ihlenfeld’s ultimate ambition is the same. “I’m aflame about the befalling to use my accomplishments in the Senate — if I can get there,” Ihlenfeld said.
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