Jeffrey Kessler

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Jeffrey Kessler
Kessler jeffrey.jpg
West Virginia State Senate District 2
Incumbent
In office
1997-Present
Term ends
December 1, 2016
Years in position 17
PartyDemocratic
Leadership
President of the Senate, West Virginia State Senate
2011 - Present
Compensation
Base salary$20,000/year
Per diem$131/day during session
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
Appointed1997
Term limitsN/A
Education
Bachelor'sWest Liberty State College, 1977
J.D.West Virginia University College of Law, 1981
Personal
BirthdayNovember 16, 1955
Place of birthWheeling, WV
ProfessionAttorney
ReligionRoman Catholic
Websites
Office website
CandidateVerification
Jeffrey V. Kessler (b. November 16, 1955) is a Democratic member of the West Virginia State Senate, representing District 2. He was first appointed to the chamber in 1997.

He was elected as the first Acting Senate President in state history on January 12, 2011, after Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin (D) became acting governor after former Gov. Joe Manchin (D) won election to the U.S. Senate in November 2010.[1] On November 14, 2011, Kessler was sworn in as Senate President.[2]

Biography

Kessler earned his B.A. from West Liberty State College in 1977. He went on to earn his J.D. from West Virginia College of Law in 1981.

Kessler has worked as attorney/partner for Berry, Kessler, Crutchfield, Taylor and Gordon since 1983. Previously, Kessler worked as an associate for Rickey, Chase, Chase and Hyre from 1981 to 1983. He then served as a Municipal Court Judge for McMechen, West Virginia from 1982 to 1989. From the year of 1983 to 1997, Kessler also worked as City Attorney for Benwood, West Virginia. He went on to work as Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for Marshall County, West Virginia from 1985 to 2000.[3]

Committee assignments

2013-2014

At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Kessler served on the following committees:

West Virginia Committee Assignments, 2013
Rules, Chair
Government and Finance
Special Investigations

2011-2012

In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Kessler served on these committees:

2009-2010

In the 2009-2010 legislative session, Kessler served on these committees:

Issues

Future Fund

Kessler was the primary proponent of setting up a proposed Future Fund ahead of the 2014 legislative session. The Future Fund would collect a portion of the anticipated increase in severance fees charged to fuel companies into savings that could not be used by the state until later years. The fund would be modeled after North Dakota's Legacy Fund, which has captured $1.3 billion in revenues from the state's expanding oil industry. Kessler stated that he expects hydraulic fracturing for natural gas to boom in West Virginia in the coming years, and he would like to capture the revenue that boom may bring to the state. Specifically, Kessler drew a contrast with the coal industry, which exhausted the coal veins in some parts of southern West Virginia. That part of the state was not able to benefit in the long-term from the boom in coal mining, and became economically depressed after the industry left. Kessler wants to avoid that happening to the entire state after the anticipated natural gas boom. Kessler spearheaded a trip to North Dakota to learn about their Legacy Fund, and began crafting his own proposal for a Future Fund upon his return.[4]

Elections

2012

See also: West Virginia State Senate elections, 2012

Kessler ran in the 2012 election for West Virginia State Senate, District 2. Kessler ran unopposed in the May 8 primary election and was unchallenged in the general election, which took place on November 6, 2012.[5][6][7]

2011

See also: West Virginia special gubernatorial election, 2011 and West Virginia state executive official elections, 2011

Kessler was one of six candidates running for the Democratic nomination in West Virginia's special election for governor. Other candidates included Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, State Treasurer John D. Perdue, House Speaker Richard Thompson, Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin, and Charleston, W.Va. landlord Arnie Moltis.[8]

His platform included raising the visibility of vocational schools, reforming the prison system, and keeping more mineral revenue in the state; he told an interviewer, "I’d rather see them leave it in the ground than give it away to someone else."[9]

Kessler placed 5th in the May 14, 2011 primary, with 5.30%

2011 Race for Governor - Democratic Primary
Candidates Percentage
Jeffrey V. Kessler 5.30%
Arnie Moltis 0.38%
John D. Perdue 12.54%
Natalie E. Tenant 17.30%
Richard "Rick" Thompson 24.11%
Green check mark.jpg Earl Ray Tomblin 40.37%
Total votes 126,888

2010

Kessler's seat was not up for election in 2010.[10]

2008

On November 4, 2008, Jeffrey Kessler was elected to the West Virginia State Senate, District 2.[11]

Kessler raised $23,875 for his campaign, while Brunner raised $5,295.[12]

West Virginia State Senate District 2 (2008)
Candidates Votes Percent
Green check mark transparent.pngJeffrey Kessler (D) 23,875 63.77%
Frederick Brunner (R) 13,564 36.23%

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Kessler is available dating back to 1998. Based on available campaign finance records, Kessler raised a total of $602,464 during that time period. This information was last updated on July 24, 2013.[13]

Jeffrey Kessler's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 West Virginia State Senate, District 2 Won $128,772
2011 Governor of West Virginia Defeated $186,575
2010 West Virginia State Senate, District 2 Not up for election $745
2008 West Virginia State Senate, District 2 Won $108,296
2006 West Virginia State Senate, District 2 Not up for election $35
2004 West Virginia State Senate, District 2 Won $61,592
2000 West Virginia State Senate, District 2 Won $53,548
1998 West Virginia State Senate, District 2 Won $62,901
Grand Total Raised $602,464

2012

Kessler won re-election to the West Virginia State Senate in 2012. During that election cycle, Kessler raised a total of $128,772.
West Virginia State Senate 2012 election - Campaign Contributions
Top contributors to Jeffrey Kessler's campaign in 2012
Kessler For Governor 2011$7,864
Kessler 4 Governor 2012$4,043
West Virginia Association for Justice$2,000
Alpha Natural Resources$2,000
Jacobs, Jeremy M$2,000
Total Raised in 2012$128,772
Source:Follow the Money

2011

Kessler lost the election for the West Virginia Governor in 2011. During that election cycle, Kessler raised a total of $186,575.

2008

Kessler won re-election to the West Virginia State Senate in 2008. During that election cycle, Kessler raised a total of $108,296.

2004

Kessler won re-election to the West Virginia State Senate in 2004. During that election cycle, Kessler raised a total of $61,592.

2000

Kessler won re-election to the West Virginia State Senate in 2000. During that election cycle, Kessler raised a total of $53,548.

1998

Kessler won re-election to the West Virginia State Senate in 1998. During that election cycle, Kessler raised a total of $62,901.

Personal

Jeffrey and his wife, Gretchen, have four children; Jacob, Lauren, Jackson, and Hastings.

Additional reading

Scorecards

See also: State legislative scorecards and State legislative scorecards in West Virginia

Legislative scorecards are used to evaluate elected public officials based on voting record. Some scorecards are created by political advocacy groups with a focus on specific issues, while others are developed by newspapers and are broad in scope. Scorecards are meant to be used as a tool for voters to have a quick picture of whether their views align with a particular legislator's record.

Because scorecards can be specific to particular issues or general to a state’s legislative term, for example, each report should be considered on its own merits. Each entity that publishes these reports uses different methodologies and definitions for the terms used.

An overview for scorecards in all 50 states can be found on this page. To contribute to the list of West Virginia scorecards, email suggestions to scorecards@ballotpedia.org.

Please see our writing guidelines if you would like to add results from an individual scorecard to this legislator's profile.

2014

In 2014, the West Virginia State Legislature was in session from January 8 through March 10.

Legislators are scored on their votes for or against Regenerate WV's position.
Legislators are scored on their votes on lawsuit-related legislation.
Legislators are scored on their votes on the Water Resources Protection Act and its amendments.

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See also

Governor of West Virginia West Virginia state executive official elections, 2011 Earl Ray Tomblin

External links

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References

Political offices
Preceded by
-
West Virginia State Senate District 2
1996–present
Succeeded by
NA