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Morris, Rush Want Votes For Commission Seat

October 24, 2018
Wetzel Chronicle

The next Wetzel County Commissioner will be either Gregory A. Morris or Allen Rush.

Morris is running as a Democrat for Wetzel County Commission from District Two. He is a native and lifelong resident of Wetzel County. He has been a chairperson for the Wetzel County Democrat Executive Committee for seven years. He was voted by his peers as Democrat of the Year for Wetzel County in 2011.

Morris is a second-generation pipefitter, and is a 39-year member of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 83 in Wheeling. He also was a member of USWA Local 5724 for the 24 years that he worked at Ormet Primary in Hannibal, Ohio.

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He is a member of the Steelton Church of Christ. Morris also is the Sunday speaker at Higgins Chapel and Wileyville Church of Christ once monthly.

Morris has a history of volunteerism and community service. He was on the original Wileyville Homecoming committee serving as president for the first five years, starting in 1994. Then he served as treasurer from 1999 until presently. He was a member of Wileyville Volunteer Fire Department for 31 years from 1975 until he moved to Paden City in 2006. He volunteered as little league coach for three years and then as third through sixth grade basketball coach. He was the junior high basketball coach at the school while his son attended Long Drain.

Morris is a lifetime resident of Wetzel County. Upon graduating from Hundred High School in 1975, he attended WVU for one and one-half years where he was the manager for the WVU Mountaineers football team.

Morris' roots run deep in Wetzel County as both his paternal and maternal grandparents and his parents, Drexel and Wilma Dakan, Morris were born and raised here. Morris' daughter Shae resides in New Martinsville, and his son Clay resides in Paden City.

Morris loves the great state of West Virginia and his home of Wetzel County. He would like to have to opportunity to serve all the citizens of Wetzel County as county commissioner. He is endorsed by Upper Ohio Valley Building and Construction Trades Council, West Virginia State Pipetrades Association, Marshall/Wetzel/Tyler Central Labor Council, Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 83, Ormet Retirees Local 5724,Canalco Retirees Local 5760, IBEW 141.

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Allen Rush, an Independent candidate, is a lifelong resident of Wetzel County and graduated from Magnolia High School in 1979. He and wife Colleen have two sons - Chris and Fred. Rush has been farming since 1977 when he bought his first cattle, and he currently keeps about 70 head of cattle.

Rush operated the Grandview-Doolin water system for one year in 1980; he then went to work for PPG Industries in December 1980. He retired from PPG in 2016 with 36 years of service, having worked in various maintenance and operations jobs. He has served as a supervisor for the Upper Ohio Conservation District for 10 years, and he has served as chairman the past three years. Rush has also served on the Wetzel County Solid Waste Authority for the past year.

If elected, Rush's goals are to improve cell phone and Internet service for the whole county, continue the support of our EMS and fire departments, as well as our county's 4-H and FFA programs, senior citizens' programs, and the many other programs the commission currently supports, as well as work to improve them in the future.

Rush believes the biggest problems facing Wetzel County are drug abuse, increased crime, homelessness, and the increasing regional jail fees as a result of the former mentioned issues. He noted there is also an increase in litter and an increased workload on the sheriff's office. Rush also sees a lack of volunteers for the EMS and fire departments. "There is also the threat of decreased revenues if the oil and gas companies prevail in their challenge to the tax assessments," noted Rush.

Rush said, if elected, he will strive to represent the best interests of all Wetzel County and its residents. "I will not consider this position just a job or just a paycheck. There are always decisions to be made, and I will make them as fairly as possible."

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The Wetzel Chronicle mailed each of the commisson candidates a simple questionnaire. Here are their responses:

Wetzel Chronicle: What motivated you to seek this office?

Greg Morris: As many who know me would attest, I have been talking about running for County Commissioner for many years. As I near retirement, now is the time for me to make that goal a reality. The best part about the process of running for county commissioner was meeting so many of the residents when I went door to door during the primaries. I was able to hear the concerns of the community which strengthened my resolve to press on, to meet more people, to go to one more event, in order to hopefully win the primary. It was a great honor for me to be selected to be the Democrat candidate for the general election. I have served on as the Chairperson for the Wetzel County Democratic Committee and becoming a county commissioner is a logical next step for me to continue to help my community.

Allen Rush: I decided to seek this office because I believe I can make a difference in the quality of life in the county. Some of the problems being drugs, litter, and lack of infrastructure such as water lines, Broad Band and cellphone service for much of the county.

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WC: Describe three instances, during your professional career, when you were proud of yourself.

GM: There have been several times in my career when I have been proud of myself. I work in the building and construction trades as a pipefitter, so every job you go on gives you the opportunity to lend your talents to a new manufacturing facility, refurbishing plant infrastructure to new standards, or building a school. Every time your crew finishes a job ahead of schedule, or completes particularly tricky work in a safe way, there is a sense of pride.

It was during the building of Valley High School that I would say I was most proud. I was one of the only plumbers to build that school. This means that I personally set every fixture in the facility. Obviously, it was a lot of work, and while it wasn't glamourous work, it is an absolute necessity for all the staff and students to have working facilities.

Another time when I was proud of myself was when I preached my first sermon in 1989. To say I was nervous would have been an understatement, but by being able to overcome that and speak for several minutes in front of a crowd, I got my feet wet in public speaking. In the years passing, public speaking for me has only become easier, and I have used those skills during my campaign.

Politically, a time I was proud of myself was in 2011 when I was selected Democrat of the Year. This is what really got me thinking seriously about running for commissioner.

There have been other times in my career when I have been proud of myself. I would like to think that I give my best to everything that I do. I can promise you that I will make you proud if you elect me to be your Wetzel County Commissioner.

AR: The first instance of a time when I was proud of myself was in March of 1980 when I was hired at Grandview-Doolin water systems. I did this for one year before being hired at PPG Industries.

A second instance when I was proud of myself was in May of 1996 when I was selected, along my father Glenn Rush, as Upper Ohio Conservation District's Farmer of the Year.

A third instance was in August of 2016 when I was fortunate enough to be able to retire from the former PPG Industries and pursue other opportunities after 36 years of service.

 
 
 

 

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