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Danny’s BBQ Shack, which opened Wednesday in the 1000 block of Quarrier Street, had a full house during the lunch rush. Charleston’s former mayor Danny Jones was a restaurateur, among other things, before he was mayor. The restaurant is open for lunch only and features barbecue sandwiches and ribs.

Senate votes to make prosecutor elections nonpartisan

Elections for county prosecutors will become a nonpartisan affair under a bill approved in the West Virginia Senate Wednesday.

The Senate approved Senate Bill 204 in a 30-4 vote Wednesday.

If the bill becomes law elections for county prosecutors will work similar to judicial elections. Prosecutors would be elected during the May primary election, and their political party wouldn’t be listed on the ballot.

The proposed prosecutor elections would be different from judicial elections in one way: in the event that a prosecuting attorney candidate fails to get a majority of the votes, the two candidates with the most votes would advance to a run-off election during the general election in a given year.

Sen. Charles Clements, R-Wetzel, proposed the run-off provision during the Senate Judiciary meeting on Feb. 13, saying he didn’t want to repeat a situation like the 2018 Supreme Court special election in which the people who were elected to the court each received less than the majority of the vote in a field of more than 20 candidates.

Justice Evan Jenkins was elected after receiving 36 percent of the votes cast in his division, and Justice Tim Armstead was elected after receiving 26 percent of the votes in his division.

During the Feb. 13 Senate Judiciary Committee meeting, Sen. Mike Romano, D-Harrison, said the lack of a run-off for the Supreme Court election was “dangerous” given the weight and authority of the position.

In the House of Delegates, House Bill 2008 would establish a general election run-off in Supreme Court elections. The House Judiciary Committee approved the bill on Jan. 9. It was referenced to the House Finance Committee, where it has been since Jan. 10.

Senate Bill 204 will advance to the House for consideration.

Readers' Vent: Feb. 20, 2020

Are the same legislators who are trying to bankrupt the state by doing away with property taxes the same who refuse to move the state forward by passing cannabis laws?

One question I’d like to ask any Legislator is why does the Legislature never seek to raise the taxes on beer, wine and liquor? I’m fine with raising taxes on tobacco. But why are they afraid of any raise on alcohol products? To me, it’s a no-brainer. Like tobacco, alcohol is a luxury or choice item. You don’t have to have it to live your daily life.

Once again or Republican leaders try to shove this new layer of the judicial system down our throat. We don’t need it. More high paying jobs at the taxpayer expense. More outrageous retirements. West Virginia’s population has dropped by more than 200,000 people in the last 70 years. And they think we need this? We have managed fine with the system we have, thank you very much. More, more, more for big money and the little guy paying for it.

I see where the Greenbrier East girls team played at GW Tuesday night. So, at least our governor was in Charleston once this week.

Anyone who didn’t read Phil Kabler’s column on Wednesday missed a brilliant summation of West Virginia’s unhappy economic history. He placed the blame where it belongs, on legislators who are beholden to corporate fat cats.

No one likes paying taxes but to phase-out property tax collections would devastate the state. Perhaps our esteemed elected officials would take measures to move the state forward rather than continue the race to bankrupt the state.

If you wonder what Medicare for all would be like just look at what is happening in West Virginia. Just over half of our population is on Medicare and Medicaid. The low reimbursement rates are causing hospitals to lose money and close throughout the area. Medicare for all would bankrupt the nation’s entire medical system.

I wish our local Democrat know-it-alls would make up their minds. One day they complain we need more companies to move to West Virginia. Next day they complain we give too many tax breaks to out of state companies. I can’t blame companies for bypassing West Virgina on their way to North Carolina and Tennessee. Too many old school Democrats here.

Editor’s note: To submit your vents, email readersvent@wvgazettemail.com or mail to Readers’ Vent, 1001 Virginia St. E., Charleston, WV 25301.