Hartzog candidate for the central district headquarters of the Mon commission

January 29 – MORGANTOWN – Charles David Hartzog knows he’s not your typical political candidate.

He is 19, a resident of Morgantown and a student of economics, and eventually law, in WVU’s 3+3 program.

And in January 2023, he hopes to represent the Central District on the Monongalia County Commission.

He is one of two Republicans, along with incumbent Sean Sikora, who entered the May primary race on Friday afternoon. Sen. Bob Beach, D-Monongalia, is the only Democrat.

Saturday is the deadline for submitting a candidacy for national or local elections.

Due to the large number of students residing in the Central Commission District, Hartzog said he believed his age would provide him with valuable perspective.

But he is not naive.

“He has his flaws too. I know that,” he admitted. “The students are mostly young and inexperienced, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make good choices. There is a percentage of people who weren’t prepared for the task of being an adult and that colors the perception of all students for many.”

Hartzog considers himself a student of history. For example, he takes advice on etiquette from George Washington and advice on courage from Admiral Yi Soon Shin, a Korean admiral and military general known for his victories against the Japanese Navy.

“Admiral Yi was not one of the greatest generals in history because he was loved. He was the greatest because he saved his country. He saved his country from an invasion they weren’t prepared for. It’s an example of how recreation can lead to destruction,” Hartzog said.

He thinks the commission has worked too quietly with the state to improve local roads. And while he acknowledges that additional internet access is needed, he wonders how much it will help those who don’t have access to adequate devices to use it.

Ultimately, Hartzog said, he learns a lesson from family history.

“My great-grandfather was a politician as a county commissioner (in Alabama). He ran many times but only won once. It took him years to win. So, if I lose, I lose, I’m not going to throw an in-form,” he said, smiling. “But I like to think of myself as lucky.”

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