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Ken Auvil, a former legislator, veteran and Belington businessman, has announced his candidacy for Barbour County commissioner.
Auvil, then a teacher, was elected as the youngest member of the 55th Legislature. As education chair, Auvil sponsored one of the first physician assistant bills in the country and the first state School Building Authority. A champion of education, he was a charter member of the Education Commission of the States and was floor leader for West Virginia's first public kindergartens.
Auvil was never afraid to stand his ground and fight for what was right. He stood alone on the floor to block a budget bill that permitted forced "flower fund" donations by state employees. Later, the Supreme Court declared it illegal. He publicly chastised a future governor who opposed a public vote on the billion-dollar Appalachian Highways.
Auvil stood up to a corrupt administration and publicly exposed the attorney general's role in an infamous timber deal related to state forests.
For green building and innovation, he was honored at the White House as West Virginia Small Businessman of the Year. In 2009, as an innovative green builder, he was honored by WVEC as WV Green Entrepreneur of the Year.
Today, through wvgreenbuilders.com, he consults with owner-builder families who efficiently plan and build for less. Still on the cutting edge, he is consulting with Elkins' first thermal mass-concrete home.
Auvil is a husband, father, soldier, teacher, consultant, farmer, builder, logger, home manufacturer and developer. He attended Barbour County schools, Salem College and West Virginia University.
He is president of Belington Recreation, and asked the commission to buy Belington Civic Center. He also was an American Legion Boys State instructor, was Salem College student body president and was captain of the football team.
If elected, Auvil believes he can use his experience in government, building, development and modular factory work to help the commission be more active with jobs and economic development. With a limited budget, he hopes the commission can be a catalyst and do more, at the local level, with less.