The Early Years
John Doyle grew up in Charles Town and graduated from Shepherd University (then called “Shepherd College”) with a major in Political Science and a minor in History. He served in the United States Army as an infantry lieutenant, leading a rifle platoon in Vietnam. For his service he was awarded the Bronze Star for Valor, the Army Commendation for Valor, the Combat Infantry Badge and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.
Working for Jefferson County
John was elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates in 1982 and was once again elected to the House of Delegates in 1992. He was re-elected as Delegate for nine straight times, voluntarily retiring in 2012. In the House he served on the Finance Committee for 19 years, and was Vice Chair of the Finance Committee for ten of those years.
During his service in the Legislature Delegate Doyle focused on improving public education, protecting the environment and streamlining tax policy in West Virginia. Among his accomplishments were getting Civics to be once again a required course for all high school students, getting the state to permit Shepherd University to offer graduate courses and getting economic state development money to help build Washington High School. This last achievement astounded almost everybody in Charleston, as economic development money had never before been used to build a public school. But John believed then, and believes now, that education is at the core of economic development. Delegate Doyle also shepherded through the House the Senate bill sponsored by John Unger that established our state’s Farmland Protection program. John was instrumental in the repeal a few years ago of the sales tax on groceries and had a major role in the creation of the state’s “Rainy Day” fund.
During the time Delegate Doyle served on the Finance Committee West Virginia saw its credit rating rise from “junk bond” status to the highest level (AAA+). When John was elected in 1992 West Virginia had huge unfunded liabilities (90% or greater) in its workers compensation funds and in its various pension funds. All those were paid down to acceptable levels by the time Delegate Doyle retired in 2012, and this was done without a general tax increase. When John took office in 1992 the state’s public employee health care plan was almost bankrupt and therefore essentially useless, as many providers refused to honor it for payment. By the time Delegate Doyle retired in 2012 that problem had been solved.
While in the Legislature John Doyle fought hard to make sure Jefferson County was treated fairly. When the Legislature passed a law permitting the Charles Town Races to have table games at its casino John was appalled at the puny percentage of tax money that would stay in our county. The law called for the citizens of our county to approve table games at a referendum. Delegate Doyle astonished the (then Democratic) leadership in Charleston by leading the fight to reject table games. He argued that the citizens of Jefferson County should tell Charleston in no uncertain terms that we would not permit table games unless we got a fair share of the revenue. He said we should insist on a “better deal” or not permit table games. Table games were defeated by a small landslide (12%). A year later John and Senator Herb Snyder led the successful effort in the Legislature to double the percentage of revenue from table games that would go to Jefferson County. Jefferson County then passed a referendum on table games.
From 2014 to 2017 John was Deputy Cabinet Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Revenue. In that position he met regularly with representatives of the institutions that determine West Virginia’s credit rating.
John Doyle is running again for the House of Delegates because he has seen some ominous signs coming out of Charleston.