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Parkersburg mayor to seek county commission seat

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — Parkersburg Mayor Jimmy Colombo has filed pre-candidacy papers to run for the Wood County Commission in District A.

The three county commissioners run from Districts A, B and C, but are elected and serve countywide.

Filing pre-candidacy papers allows the filer to raise funds, and make expenditures to “test the waters” for a run at an office. The official filing of certificates of announcement for candidates will be available Jan. 11-30.

Colombo, a Democrat, said when he appointed mayor after Bob Newell resigned that he did not intend to run for mayor after the unexpired term expired.

“Since I’ve been here I find that my job skills, even serving on the parole board, working with different situations and drug-related problems, I think I would like to continue serving the area. I have a great desire to make this the best county in the state of West Virginia. To do that, I think you have to reach out for more jobs. I’ve been active in working with businesses here and in trying to get business in here too,” he said.

“I understand and I know the county commissioners have a very difficult job because of the overall financial situation in our community. There are major jail costs, dealing with the school system, and you have to help the volunteer fire departments. We have to do what we can both as a city and county to work together to make this community prosper. I see myself on the other end, working with the other commissioners, dedicated with those involved and dealing with the problems that arise within the county,” he said.

Colombo said working to bring economic development to the county will mean more people working together to solve problems.

“The city has problems, the county has problems, we should work together more to solve the problems and that includes working with the state to improve all the major arteries in the city.

“I have contacts with the state and have a working relationship with our congressional representatives and have never been afraid to ask for help. I enjoy working with people and I feel the experience, talent and background I have would be beneficial to the county,” he said.

Colombo has an AA degree from West Virginia University at Parkersburg, an honorary bachelor’s of arts from WVU and a bachelor’s of arts from Marietta College.

He is involved with the family restaurant business, Colombo’s Italian Restaurant.

Colombo was Parkersburg mayor from 1998 to 2005 and did not run for a third term. He was appointed to the West Virginia Parole Board six years ago and was chairman of the regional Workforce West Virginia board for eight years.

Colombo said during his tenure on the Workforce board the agency set up one-stop stops in the community for people to seek employment and worked with the state to provide other educational services to improve individuals and help find them jobs.

Colombo is married, has four children and seven grandchildren.

The commission seat that is up for election is currently represented by Steve Gainer.

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