Randy Yohe Published

W.Va. Senate District 13 Race — Two Legislative Veterans

A "vote here" sign marks the entrance to an early voting station in downtown Minneapolis in 2018.

The race for the 13th Senate District features a pair of veteran legislators.

The 13th District covers parts of Marion and Monongalia counties, including Morgantown.

Republican candidate Mike Oliverio served 16 years in the Senate and two years in the House of Delegates, ending that tenure in 2011. He switched parties in 2017.

“I was disappointed with the direction of the National Democratic Party and felt like they no longer focused on the needs of the people of West Virginia,” Oliverio said. “If I were to ever return to public service, it would be in the Republican Party where I could do the most good for my community.”

Oliverio said Morgantown is the state’s health care hub, and it is underserved in Charleston.

“We need to fight for our fair share,” Oliverio said. “We’re the only senate district in West Virginia that doesn’t have a member on the Finance Committee.”

After 26 years in the House, Del. Barbara Evans Fleischauer, D-Monongalia, said the Senate needs more women’s views and she can bring that perspective to the conversation. She plans to continue her health care campaign against diabetes, to see the state offer affordable insulin and treatment for the disease.

“I found out that another thing that is very expensive, are the supplies and equipment that go with being a Type 1 diabetic especially, and also Type 2,” Fleischauer said. “An insulin pump can extend people’s lives by decades. A continuous glucose monitor can tell people if their insulin is getting a little bit out of whack.”

Oliverio said he has a plan to help financially strapped senior citizens.

“That’s something we could do in the form of expanding the homestead exemption,” Oliverio said. “We want to enable our senior citizens to be able to stay in their homes, yet the value of their homes are increasing and their property taxes are increasing.”

Fleischauer plans to continue the fairness fight for the LGBTQ+ community.

“If you are, or if you look different, or if you love somebody, you shouldn’t lose your job or lose your house because of that,” Fleischauer said. “It’s just the same as we shouldn’t have discrimination based on race or gender.”

Both candidates say 13th District secondary roads are desperate for repair. Both Oliverio and Fleischauer argue they have the experience to make a difference.