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There’s a new name in the running for West Virginia's House of Delegates

Trevor Barnhart is running as an independent to represent Brooke County.

A member of West Virginia's House of Delegates was running unopposed until a Follansbee man announced he would be running for the seat in District 2.

Trevor Barnhart is running as an independent to represent Brooke County.

"I ran under the independent ticket because there's too much in-part fighting. I want to have an obligation to the people and not to my party,” he said.

Barnhart is crashing into a race against Phil DiSerio, a Democrat who as of last Thursday, was unopposed.

"You should never run unopposed,” Barnhart said. “That is another big reason why I am running, too. Because you should never run unopposed, you should always have another option. You should always have a challenger. There always needs to be some competition."

For Barnhart, the 25-year-old father of two said he's running for the first time for West Virginia House of Delegates.

Talking teachers and public service jobs and the opioid epidemic, Barnhart said electing an independent would help solve those issues.

"I’ve never liked the political party system,” he said. “When the country was founded, the founding fathers never really thought political parties were the way to go."

Politics is a passion for Barnhart, and he said he would be visible and accessible to constituents.

"I want the people to actually know what I’m doing. Phil DiSerio is a great guy, but I have no clue what he's doing as a representative. I don't really hear much about him, and if I was elected, I would try (to) be more heard; try to reach out the people more,” he said.

On the opioid epidemic, Barnhart said he's in favor of decriminalizing all drugs.

"So, we can really look at it more as a health issue instead of a criminal justice issue,” he said.

On the teacher strikes last summer, Barnhart said he was going to school to become an educator, but took a job that paid the same in lieu of finishing college.

"I appreciate what they're doing, I understand what they (were) doing. I supported the teachers 100 percent. They should have got more. But it's a work in progress,” he said.

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