WVPA Sharing

Ben Queen is ready to serve as West Virginia’s youngest state senator

Senator-elect Queen takes oath of office at 4:30 p.m. today at Harrison County Courthouse

WV Press Release Sharing

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. — Next week marks a new beginning for a well known local entrepreneur who was elected in November to become one of just thirty-four members of the WV State Senate.  On Jan. 11, the WV Legislature goes into session and Bridgeport resident Ben Queen will start the challenge of representing his generation and the 12th Senatorial District.

Ben Queen

In 2016, the Bridgeport resident was elected to his first of three terms in the 100-member WV House of Delegates.  At that time, Delegate Queen was just 21 years old and a student at West Virginia University.  He was easily re-elected in 2018 and in 2020.  

Because of his keen interest in the legislative process, over the last six years Delegate Queen was selected to serve in a number of important leadership positions.  He has been a conservative member of the powerful House Judiciary Committee for six years.  Because of his interest in entrepreneurship and business, Speaker of the House Roger Hanshaw selected Queen (who was 25 years old at the time) to serve as Chairman of the House Committee on Economic Development & Small Business. He served on a number of other committees including Co-Chairman of the Interim Committee on Technology.

He was just 13 years old in 2008 when he started his first business – Ben Queen Photography.  It was later that same year that the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce named him as their “Young Entrepreneur of The Year”. 

So the name Ben Queen isn’t a new one for the residents of Harrison County.  And his photography business has earned respect and accolades throughout the state over the last 14 years.  Ben Queen Photography provides sports and event photography for numerous national, statewide and local media outlets including USA Today, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and the WVU Athletic Department.

In 2009, he won a national photo contest sponsored by Canon cameras and the National Pro-Football Hall of Fame.  For winning, Queen and three friends got to spend a week in Tampa, FL during Super Bowl 43 (Pittsburgh vs. Arizona).

It’s fair to say that being young has never been a hurdle that Queen couldn’t adjust to or overcome.  On Jan. 10, Queen will move on to a new set of challenges when he finds himself as the youngest senator of the 34-member WV State Senate.

According to West Virginia Constitution, a West Virginia resident must be at least 25 years old to serve in the WV State Senate.  Queen is 27 years old.

Queen will succeed State Senator Mike Romano who did not run for re-election.  He will represent the new 12th Senatorial District that includes Harrison, Taylor, Lewis, Gilmer and Calhoun counties.

“I’ve spent the last six years learning the legislative process and being part of the solution,” Queen said. “I don’t participate in tearing others down.  I want to build up my state, my colleagues, and my district.”

“When I first arrived in Charleston in 2017, we were facing a $400 million deficit.  Those were difficult times with tough decisions having to be made.  Budget cuts were made across the board then pro-business policies were put into place,” Queen said.

“This year we’re expecting a budget surplus of more than $1.3 billion.  That doesn’t just happen.  We made tough decisions six years ago so we can enjoy a strong and growing economy in 2023 and beyond.”

Queen’s influence in the WV State Senate can already be felt.  Last week, Senate President Craig Blair appointed Queen to serve as Vice Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee and a member of the Senate’s Government Organization Committee.  Queen will also be a member of the Committee on Economic Development, the Committee on Banking & Insurance, and the Committee on Pensions.

ADDITIONAL PERSONAL INFORMATION
Ben Queen is the owner of Ben Queen Photography that provides sports and event photography for local, regional and national media outlets.  More on his business can be found at www.BenQueenPhotography.com.
He is a 2013 graduate of Bridgeport High School and attended WVU.  He is the son of Paula Carter and Michael Queen, both of Bridgeport.
In 2013, Ben was one of six national finalists for the prestigious “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” award hosted by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB).  

Ben Queen is a ninth generation West Virginian.  

He is also the fourth generation of his family to be elected to public office.  His great-great Uncle Ralph Keister served in the WV House of Delegates in the 1950’s and his great-great Aunt Ruby Queen Keister was the first woman elected to serve as a Harrison County Commissioner.  His grandfather is Fray Queen who served Harrison County for more than 30 years as a constable and Magistrate.  His father, Michael Queen, was elected to serve in the WV House of Delegates (1988-90) and as a member and president of the Harrison County Board of Education (2006-20014).  Mike Queen is currently serving as Deputy Chief of Staff in the WV Secretary of State’s Office.  

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter