SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. (WDVM) — One of the most senior members of the West Virginia legislature is making some new political plans. He has been serving Jefferson County for a long time, but next term’s service may be in a different capacity.

John Doyle was elected to the House of Delegates back in the 1980s. He has served there for 26 of the past 40 years. He was the budget director to former Governor Bob Wise for a while in the early 2000s. Next year he will not seek re-election to his Jefferson County seat, opting to serve as a county commissioner instead.

“It makes government available so the people can understand what’s going on and offer their input,” Doyle said of his priorities in this coming term.

Doyle is particularly concerned that zoning issues are not being approached right in the fastest-growing region of the Mountain State.

“I just think the problems that Jefferson County has are serious, important and urgent,” said Doyle.

Even if he can’t be the county’s voice in the state capital with Republican domination of the legislature, Democrat Doyle knew his seat would be redrawn to his political disadvantage.

“I am bitter that they divided Shepherdstown in half to do it,” said Doyle. “They didn’t need to do that. They could have gotten rid of me, kept Shepherdstown together. In fact, I offered an amendment on the floor that would have done that.”

Doyle has been around long enough to know the rough and tumble of hardball politics. He will remain active on policies here in Jefferson County. He has a press conference schedule on one of them for later in the week.

Doyle will run in the primary election next May. If nominated, he will advance to the general election in November of next year.