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Tom Azinger to receive award from Wood County GOP

PARKERSBURG — A member of the West Virginia House of Delegates will receive the William P.A. Nicely Award recognizing lifetime achievement and dedication to service from the Wood County Republican Party.

The award will be given to Delegate Tom Azinger, R-Wood, at an awards banquet slated for Oct. 29 at the Parkersburg Country Club in Vienna, party Chairman Roger Conley said. The event starts with a reception at 5 p.m.

The recipient of the award is chosen by members of the Nicely family and past winners of the award, Conley said. They met and reviewed several nominees for the award before deciding upon Azinger, Conley said.

“At the end of the day, it was pretty unanimous,” Conley said.

William P.A. Nicely served three terms as mayor of Parkersburg from 1970 to 1977 and 1986-1989. He also served in the House of Delegates in the 1980s from Wood County. The East Street Bridge was renamed the William P.A. Nicely Memorial Bridge by the Legislature.

Among the past recipients of the Nicely Award are Arthur N. Gustke, Daniel B. Douglass, Bob Tebay, Steve Grimm, Carol Jones, Frank Deem, Bob Fish, Edwin L.D. Dils, Turner Sturm and Butch Shaver. The first award was in 1992.

Nicely died in 1991.

“I knew Bill Nicely,” Azinger said.

Azinger said he was appreciative and gratified to be chosen to receive the award.

“I was really thrilled by it,” he said.

Azinger, the father of state Sen. Mike Azinger, R-3rd, is a retired insurance agent who served in the U.S. Marines. He was elected to the House of Delegates from 1994 to 2012, then left the House and successfully ran for Vienna City Council in 2014.

Azinger ran for mayor of Vienna in 2016, losing the contest to Mayor Randy Rapp.

In 2018, following the death of Delegate Frank Deem, Azinger was appointed to run in the November general election for the 10th House District to fill the ballot vacancy caused by Deem’s death. Gov. Jim Justice also appointed Azinger to the vacancy in the House 10th District.

Azinger won the election to a full term. On Thursday, Azinger said he still has yet to decide about running for re-election in 2020, saying it depends on how he feels.

“I’m the oldest guy in the House,” said Azinger, 84.

Tickets for the Nicely Awards banquet are $50 each, Conley said. For $100, candidates or businesses can buy a ticket that includes an advertisement in a slideshow presentation during the dinner, he said.

Tickets will be available by contacting executive committee Treasurer Gladys Lemley at 304-482-1162 or Conley at 304-991-8899. Tickets may also be purchased by sending a check for $50 per person to WCREC, P.O. Box 4737, Parkersburg, WV 26104.

Jess Mancini can be reached at jmancini@newsandsentinel.com.

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