West Virginia Sen. Ryan Weld faces primary challenge from Jack Newbrough | News, Sports, Jobs

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In the June 9 primary election, two Republicans are vying for their party’s nomination for a state Senate seat representing Hancock, Brooke, Ohio and Marshall counties.

The two are challenger Jack Newbrough of Weirton and incumbent Ryan Weld of Wellsburg. The winner will face Democratic challenger Randy Swartzmiller of Chester, who is serving the last year of his term in the House of Delegates.

Weld served for two years in the state House of Delegates before being elected in 2015 to the state Senate, where he is the Republican majority whip and chairman of the Senate military committee.

A captain in the Air Force, Weld served in Afghanistan as an Air Force intelligence officer.

A graduate of the Duquesne University School of Law, Weld is an associate with the Wheeling law firm of Spilman, Thomas & Battle and Wellsburg’s city solicitor.

He said if re-elected, he would address the drug problem by pushing for stricter penalties for drug dealers and greater access to treatment for those struggling with addiction.

He said he’d work to ensure veterans have access to medical and other services and push for more accountability from the governor’s office for road maintenance and repairs.

A truck driver for more than 15 years, Newbrough is a Navy veteran, having served as a communications specialist aboard a guided missile cruiser in the Mediterranean Sea. He has been a member of the Weirton posts of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, serving as first vice commander of the latter; the National Rifle Association and West Virginia Citizens Defense League.

Newbrough said if elected, he’d push for more funding to allow high school students to explore careers in skilled trades, including welding, of which he said there is a shortage.

He said he’d explore innovative ways to address the opioid epidemic, including employing those recovering from addiction on farms.

Newbrough said he would pursue changes to the authority and role of local health boards, saying an unelected board shouldn’t have the power to withdraw a business license.

He said he’d push for funding to transport veterans to medical facilities, noting the local service relies on volunteer drivers.

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