BUCKHANNON — An Upshur County board of education member resigned Tuesday night and announced his intention to seek the House of Delegates 45th District seat.
Carl “Robbie” Martin told fellow board members at the regular board of education meeting his resignation was effective immediately.
Martin was first elected to the board of education in 2014 and served about a year until a clerical error was discovered showing he had filed in the wrong district. Martin resigned from the school board but was then appointed to fill an unexpired term and elected again in 2016.
Martin said he has enjoyed his time on the school board and said the only reason he resigned is due to state law, which says he cannot serve on the board of education and run for the House of Delegates. The state legislature created the board of education and it is an entity of the House.
Superintendent Roy Wager said that the board of education may appoint someone to fill Martin’s seat, which was already slated to be on the May 2018 primary ballot. The person elected during the primary will take office July 1.
During his time on the board, Martin said he learned boards of education have limited authority, and he feels they need more power.
“Being on the board of education, I see the restrictions you have on the board and think that the state needs to change those for the school system,” he said. “I decided to run for the House of Delegates to try to fix some of those issues.”
Martin would like to see more control given to local boards of education.
“I also want to change the formula of how they determine how much money the school systems receive,” he said.
Martin also wants to push the state to raise additional funding for school systems to replace their infrastructure.
“For example, our schools in Upshur County are getting older and they are needing to be replaced,” he said. “I would like to push for some bonds to get new schools.”
Martin said he feels that education is a top priority and feels he can have more of an impact at the state level.
Outside of the education realm, Martin, a Republican, said he will espouse traditional conservative issues.
“I am pro-life; I am for gun rights and I want to make sure that continues in this state,” he said. “I will continue to support pro-life issues and protect the second amendment.”
Martin also said he wants to work to create more jobs in the state and noted how that also stems from better education.
A product of Upshur County Schools, Martin earned a degree in business management from West Virginia Wesleyan College. He is the general manager of the Bicentennial Inn and 88 Restaurant and Lounge.
The House of Delegates 45th seat is being vacated by long-time Del. Bill Hamilton, who has announced his intention to seek a State Senate seat in the 11th District currently held by Robert Karnes.
One other person, Matthew Kerner, of Buckhannon, has filed pre-candidacy paperwork for the House of Delegates 45th seat. The regular filing period begins Jan. 8 and runs until midnight on Jan. 27, 2018.