MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Former West Virginia Delegate Mike Oliverio is campaigning for the West Virginia State in the 13th Senate District.
Oliverio is a former delegate and longtime financial advisor with more than a decade of political experience at the state level. He is campaigning for continued economic development in North Central West Virginia along with investment in state infrastructure and public safety.
“I talked about diversifying our economy and for me there are ten or twelve different ways we can diversify our economy,” said Oliverio. “Aerospace, energy, agriculture, manufacturing, metals, IT and artificial intelligence,” he said.
A focus on improving the economic environment in both West Virginia and in District 13 is considered a dual priority for Oliverio. Along with exploring avenues to diversify the economy, Oliverio also mentions the need for local representation in state senate committees to help promote local infrastructure, representation that he feels can give District 13 a fair share of state surplus funds that have reached over $1 billion.
“This senate district doesn’t even have a senate on the finance committee, and we have always had a senator on the finance committee, to advocate for us on important issues like highway spending,” said Oliverio.
In addressing the state surplus, Oliverio mentions that he hopes to see the funds used to explore tax relief that could positively impact Monongalia and Marion county residents. While not formally supporting measures such as Amendment 2 which would allow for state legislatures to remove the state personal property tax, he does feel addressing taxes through other avenues should be explored to deal with record-high inflation. This includes Governor Justice’s proposal on vehicle tax relief and proposals on property tax relief for senior residents.
“These senior citizens are locked in on fixed incomes, I’d like to see us explore an expansion of the homestead exemption,” said Oliverio. “I think it’s long overdue and it could help senior citizens remain in their homes, by helping them reduce their property taxes,” he said.
Oliverio is facing longtime West Virginia Delegate Barbara Evans Fleischauer for the District 13 West Virginia Senate seat. The winner takes over for longtime State Senator Bob Beach, who is leaving the position for a chance to serve on Monongalia County Commission. Despite the predominately Republican stronghold in West Virginia, Oliverio is running in one of the few places in the Mountain State that have swung in favor of Democrat candidates since 2014. Understanding a potential disadvantage, Oliverio is hoping his priorities on infrastructure, economic development and fair state representation will resonate with voters.
“My goal, again, is to improve our roads and bridges, try to get inflation under control, help our senior citizens, fight for our fair share in Charleston, which I don’t believe we’re achieving,” he said.
Early voting continues in Monongalia and Marion counties until November 5. Election Day is November 8.