Gruzinskas challenges Stewart for Marshall County commission seat

Both men have a long history of public service. (WTOV)

In Marshall County, there is only one local contested race in the election. That's the race for a commission seat.

Incumbent Commission President Stan Stewart has been challenged by retired sheriff John Gruzinskas.

Republican Stewart was appointed to his commission seat in 2014 to fill a vacancy left when Brian Schambach moved out of the county, but he's hoping to keep the seat.

However, former sheriff Gruzinskas says he has a lot of knowledge and experience concerning the county as well and both men have been campaigning for the seat.

“I have been on commission for two years and it's been an exciting time and Marshall County is growing and there are a lot of things we've done as a commission and I would like to continue to be a part of that," Stewart said.

“My entire adult life I have been involved in public service: 25 years in state police, eight years as sheriff and this is something I wanted to do and add to that and further benefit the residents and citizens here in the county,” Gruzinskas said.

Stewart previously served as the superintendent for Bellaire Local Schools, executive director for the Regional Education Service Agency and as a teacher at numerous high schools before his retirement in 2004. He then started a real estate career.

“With economic development being a major factor in what we are doing in the next few years I think I can contribute to moving the county forward in that regard," Stewart said. "We have the lowest tax rate in the state and we are proud to say and we have had that distinction for several years and it enables us to do more than many counties can for their constituents."

The candidates agree on growth and the future for Marshall County.

They both say they predict a lot will happen very soon.

“We are already on our way to a pretty good place in Marshall County and I think we have to be prepared for an influx of citizens that are going to come. We already have good things with Reynolds Hospital and the WVU affiliation, we have Grand Vue Park growing and when the gas plant starts we will have people moving,” Gruzinskas said.

Gruzinskas went onto to say he wants to make sure schools are modern and the education system is top-notch, crime is low and there are preparations in place to protect the roadways.

Election Day is this Tuesday.

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