Voters in West Virginia must chose between two candidates for a seat in the state House of Delegates representing the 2nd Delegate District, which includes Brooke County and part of Ohio County.
They are Republican Lynn Davis of Wellsburg and Democrat Phil Diserio of Follansbee.
Davis is a graduate of Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the Washington University School of Law and practiced law for several years in St. Louis County, Mo., and in Pittsburgh before moving to the Ohio Valley.
Currently a freelance writer, she was a reporter for the Wheeling News-Register and won several awards for from the West Virginia Press Association for her coverage of courts and legal issues.
Davis was Brooke County chairman for the George W. Bush 2000 campaign and is treasurer for the Brooke County Republican Party Executive Committee. While living in Bethany, she was president of the town's zoning commission and served on the planning committee for Bethany's 150th anniversary celebration.
Davis said if elected she would push for the elimination or reduction of taxes, particularly on business inventory and equipment, which she said deters businesses from coming to or expanding in West Virginia.
"Some of our tax rates are many times higher than in neighboring states and thus discourage potential employers from doing business in West Virginia. Our citizens need jobs, and the tax system shouldn't stand in the way," she said.
Davis said in regards to the natural gas industry, she believes a reasonable balance should be struck between environmental regulations for drilling and the economic development it supports.
"While reasonable taxation and regulation of drilling operations are necessary, we must be cafeful not to get so greedy, especially with regard to fees and taxes, as to drive the industry to more business-friendly states in the Marcellus shale region," she said.
Davis said she'd push for more freedom by county school systems to tailor their curriculum and programs to suit the needs of their area and judicial and tort reform. She said appointing judges, rather than electing them, has had varying results in keeping out partisanship elsewhere, but she would suggest at least removing political party affiliations as a factor in electing judges.
Diserio was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Tim Ennis, who left the state House of Delegates to serve as Brooke County commissioner in January. He is a member of House committees on government organization and on energy, industry, labor, economic development and small business.
After graduating from Brooke High School, he completed a four-year apprenticeship with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. He has been employed by the IBEW for 33 years, served on its executive board for nine years, is in his third term as president of Local 246 and is its membership development coordinator. He is president of the Brooke-Hancock Central Labor Council, vice president of the Brooke County Economic Development Authority, member of the Brooke-Hancock Planning and Development Council and former commissioner of the state parkways authority.
Diserio said he can't promise to create jobs on his own, "but I do promise to stand up for the working class people of the 2nd Delegate District. I believe the hard working people of the state deserve a fair day's pay, health insurance and a way to retire with dignity. As our community grows, small business and municipalities will grow together, but with the devastating losses we have endured with the steel industry and threats to the mining industry, no new jobs should come here without a job opportunity for the citizens of this state."
He said the natural gas industry will bring a lot of change to the region and he will work "to make informed decisions on how we face this growth."
Diserio said, "When it comes to education, West Virginia is to be commended for joining 46 other states in implementing the Common Core Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics. The West Virginia Next Generation Standards are aligned with college and work expectations and will help ensure all students are prepared to succeed in a global economy and society."
(Scott can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)