Dan R. Tonkovich
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Daniel R. "Dan" Tonkovich (April 17, 1946 – February 10, 2002) was an American politician who served as the Democratic President of the West Virginia Senate from Marshall County and served from 1985 to 1989.
Dan R. Tonkovich was the son of Clara (Offchinik) Tonkovich of Benwood, West Virginia, and Daniel Tonkovich. He was a graduate of Bishop Donahue Memorial High School in McMechen and received a B.A. degree from West Liberty State College and a M.P.A. degree from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University.
Tonkovich then served in the United States Army Infantry in Vietnam. Upon return from duty Tonkovich served as President of the Bishop Donahue School Board and was a member of the Knights of Columbus Council #1907 of Moundsville and Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church, Mount Olivet.
Tonkovich was elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates in 1972 and 1974 and was then elected to the West Virginia Senate from the 2nd Senatorial District in 1979, the first senator from Marshall County elected to the office and was named one of the "Outstanding Young Men of America" in 1974, 1976 and 1977. Tonkovich was appointed Senate Majority Whip in 1981 and Senate Majority Leader in 1983. In 1984 he was elected again.
In December 1989, Tonkovich was sentenced to five years in prison and fined $10,000 in federal court for extorting $5,000 from gambling interests.
Tonkovich died at age 55; his body was discovered about 6 p.m. on February 10, 2002, at his Benwood area home by his son, Marshall County Sheriff's Chief Deputy P.R. Mull stated. Tonkovich's death was announced on the Senate floor and senators observed a moment of silence. Tonkovich was the father of three children, daughters Stacy Tonkovich-Russell, Kaitlynn M. Tonkovich, and son Brandon D. Tonkovich of Wheeling.
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Larry A. Tucker
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