Dems elect Burdette to leadership post

PARKERSBURG – Members of the Wood County Democratic Executive Committee elected a new chairman at their April meeting on Thursday.

Jane Burdette of Parkersburg was the only nominee for the position. She replaces Harold Brown.

Burdette, a Wood County native, graduated from Parkersburg High School and earned degrees from Parkersburg Community College, Glenville State College and a master’s degree from West Virginia University. She also earned an honorary Doctor of Divinity.

Over the years Burdette has served in numerous Democratic Party capacities, including vice chairman, public relations chairman and was selected as Wood County’s Outstanding Democrat.

Burdette said it is an honor to be selected by her peers to lead the committee.

“It is an honor and privilege knowing the long legacy of community leaders who have held the same role in the past,” she said.

Brown stated he did not resign but he decided it was time for him to retire. Brown said despite retirement, he plans to remain active with the committee.

Burdette said the committee is now ready to do a few things.

“We will do some long-range planning for the next few years,” she said. “Educate ourselves on local and national issues, locate potential candidates and support the mission of the organization.”

Burdette said major focuses for the party will include the economy, immigration, gun regulation, health care and the climate.

Jean Grapes will continue to serve as executive director, Karen Campbell will continue as vice chairman, Rene Sandy is treasurer and Kay Dunn is secretary.

In other matters, members voted to draft a letter and proclamation on their concerns that Wood County Sheriff Ken Merritt has signed a petition stating he would not enforce a federal assault weapons ban if one is passed.

Members voted to have member Walt Auvil draft the resolution and to invite Merritt to the next committee meeting on May 9 to discuss the issue.