Senator Jeffrey V. Kessler was appointed to the West Virginia State Senate in November 1997 to fill a vacancy created by the death of Senator Larry Wiedebusch. He was then elected to the Senate in 1998 where he served during the 75th Legislature as Vice Chairman of the Committee on Banking and Insurance and the Select Committee on Economic Development. Senator Kessler was re-elected in 2000, 2004, and 2008. During the 76th, 77th, 78th and 79th Legislatures Senator Kessler served as Chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary.
Senator Kessler was elected Senate President November 14, 2011 following a one year term as West Virginia’s first and only Acting Senate President.
During Senator Kessler’s tenure, he received numerous awards including the Legislator of the Year awards in 1998 from the YWCA Family Violence Prevention Program, the West Virginia Trial Lawyers Association in 1999 and 2005, and the WV American Trauma Society in 2004. He was also the recipient of the Senate Perfect Roll Call Attendance Award in 1998, 1999, and 2001, the Strong Cities award from the West Virginia Municipal League in 2003, the Friends of Nursing award from the West Virginia Nurses Association in 2010, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Legislator of the Year and the West Virginia Nurses Advanced Nurse Practitioner Legislator of the Year awards in 2011, the Public Leadership award from Fairness West Virginia in 2011 and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Governor’s Arts Awards in 2012.
In addition to serving as Senate President, Senator Kessler is an attorney who was born in Wheeling, West Virginia. Senator Kessler, the son of George H. And Rosemary Krupica Kessler, received a B.A. from West Liberty State College; J.D. from West Virginia University College of Law. Senator Kessler is married to Gretchen Kessler and has four children; Jacob, Lauren, Jackson and Hastings. He is a member of St. Jude Catholic Church in Glen Dale, West Virginia
Prior to his appointment and election to the West Virginia State Senate, Senator Kessler received the Marshall County Democrat of the Year award in 1994. He also served as Marshall County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney from 1985 - 2000, City of Benwood City Solicitor from 1983 - 1997 and City of McMechen Municipal Court Judge from 1982 - 1989.
Senator Kessler’s affiliations include the Regional Economic Development Partnership where he serves on the Board of Directors. He has previously served on the Board of Directors of Wheeling Chamber of Commerce and BB&T.