SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. (WDVM) — We’ve hardly welcomed in the new year and political candidates are already lining up for the November election. And some campaigning is already out of the gate.

The filing deadline for 2022 political candidates in West Virginia begins on Monday. The Republican-dominated West Virginia legislature has redrawn House of Delegates districts across the state. In the eastern panhandle, veteran lawmaker John Doyle surrendered his House seat to run for Jefferson County Commissioner. Has the GOP stacked the deck against their Democratic Party rivals?

“In the end, it’s how you run what you say do people trust you,” said Jan Hafer, a business owner & political activist in the panhandle, “and, of course, everybody’s got a responsibility to turn out and vote.”

Hafer won’t let hardball political tactics intimidate her. She is backing Susan Benzinger for the House of Delegates seat extending from Shepherdstown to Harpers Ferry, some of the most scenic landscapes in the state.

“We have a historic beautiful county,” Benzinger said, “and we have wonderful things. We have towns, we the rivers, we have a lot of recreation and we have to take care of our county.”

It’s all retail campaigning as far as she is concerned.

“The challenge is to get out and talk to everybody and really understand their issues,” said Benziger.

Hafer has no doubt Benzinger can overcome the political odds.

“She’s got the priorities right,” said Hafer. “She knows. She’s been here so long she really knows the county, the people, their priorities.”

The GOP exercising their political muscle at the state Capitol won’t deter this dogged campaign team in the least. Candidates for office in West Virginia must have their filing papers postmarked by the 29th of January. Benzinger plans to file her official campaign papers next Tuesday.