CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Delegate Saira Blair, R-Berkeley, has been named chair of the Eastern Panhandle Caucus, a bipartisan group of lawmakers focused on issues affecting the Eastern Panhandle region.
Blair was nominated for the position by Delegate Jill Upson, R-Jefferson, and appointed by a unanimous vote Jan. 19 during the caucus’ first meeting of the legislative session.
The Eastern Panhandle Caucus was formed by a bipartisan group of 12 delegates and senators who represent the region. Due to the region’s unique geography, Eastern Panhandle residents have a different perspective and often times focus on different issues than the rest of the state. As a result, the region’s lawmakers formed the caucus in order to work together in a more efficient and effective manner.
“I’m honored Delegate Upson nominated me for this position,” Delegate Blair said. “This caucus is going to be a great opportunity for us to work together to promote the interests of our region.”
Blair said the caucus would focus on several matters, including funding for education programs and creating more jobs by bringing business like Procter & Gamble to the Eastern Panhandle, which would make the border region more competitive.
“The Eastern Panhandle has unique challenges compared to other regions, but because we are so far away, it is important that we work together to make sure our colleagues in Charleston are aware of those issues,” Blair said. “With this caucus, I believe we will have a greater opportunity to raise awareness for our region’s interests in the Legislature.”
Joining Blair and Upson in the caucus are Delegates Walter Duke, R-Berkeley; Paul Espinosa, R-Jefferson; Larry Faircloth, R-Berkeley; Eric Householder, R-Berkeley; John Overington, R-Berkeley; and Stephen Skinner, D-Jefferson; and Senators Craig Blair, R-Berkeley; Herb Snyder, D-Jefferson; Charles Trump, R-Morgan; and John Unger II, D-Berkeley.