Editor’s note: The same five questions were distributed to the candidates running for this particular office. Earlier in the fall, Weelunk solicited questions from you, our readers. Those questions are reflected here in this story. Candidates were invited to offer their answers for publication free of charge. The candidates are presented in the order of ballot position in their respective district. Numerous efforts were made via campaign websites, social media profiles and publicly available contact information and phone numbers to solicit each candidate’s participation.

FOR HOUSE of DELEGATES (4th Delegate District)

Charlie Reynolds (R)

What prompted you to run for office/re-election?

CHARLIE REYNOLDS

Timing … It’s everything in elections. They are like popularity contests, and I believe this was my time.

What do you believe to be the most important issues in your race?

Jobs

If elected, how will you improve the economy of the Northern Panhandle?

I  would fight to lower taxes on businesses and raise revenue through infrastructure.

What is the most important message you hope to get across to the voters?

That I will fight for ALL West Virginians, not just select groups.

How will you work to move West Virginia forward?

I will work with people on BOTH sides of the aisle to bring jobs to our state, better education opportunities to our youth and bring better health care to the citizens of West Virginia.

Joe Canestraro (D)

What prompted you to run for office/re-election?

Two years ago, I was taken aback by the constant attacks on working families in the state of West Virginia. My district also had a delegate that had a “closed” door policy with constituents.

I decided that the people of Marshall and Ohio Counties needed another voice in Charleston who would fight for working families for better wages, health care benefits and the ability to retire while having an “open” door with constituents.

JOE CANESTRARO

As I run for re-election to the House of Delegates, I have seen that the attacks on organized labor and working families have not stopped. This past session, it was public employees who were under the gun.

I’ll stand with them and fight for public employees and working West Virginians every day in the House of Delegates.

What do you believe to be the most important issues in your race?

Ensuring that working families have enough money in their pocketbooks, decent health care and the ability to someday retire.

We also must protect them from corruption in Charleston, protect our property owners from out-of-state multi-million dollar energy companies wanting to take their property on the cheap and protect our senior citizens from constant cost increases on fixed budgets.

If elected, how will you improve the economy of the Northern Panhandle?

First, I would sponsor a bill to exempt Social Security Retirement benefits from our state income tax. We are one of only 13 states who tax our senior citizens who worked all their lives for their social security retirement benefits and paid into it for years already. This will put more money into local businesses and the economy.

Second, we need to raise the severance tax on oil and gas so that we can ensure our public employees have decent health care and the ability to raise a family.

Third, we need to help attract offshoot industries from the cracker plant in Dilles Bottom to Marshall County, industries like plastics.

What is the most important message you hope to get across to the voters?

That I will fight for them over multi-million dollar corporations every day in Charleston, and my door will always be open to them. No matter how small the problem or issue, I will work hard to see that they at least get their government to try and help them.

How will you work to move West Virginia forward

By fighting for people and working to make sure that our small businesses get the breaks to grow over corporations who will continue to make millions without the breaks.

Lisa Zukoff (D)

What prompted you to run for office/re-election?

Like many West Virginians, I have felt very disenfranchised by our political system. The people’s voices are often ignored by elected officials in favor of special interests fueled by money. Our government should serve all citizens and the public good, not just for those who can pay for access. I am running to provide a voice to working men and women and those who are often left behind by politicians. My community and state are important to me. I have been a lifelong advocate for children and working families and would like to continue that work in the W.Va. Legislature.

LISA ZUKOFF

What do you believe is the most important issues in your race?

A strong education system is the key to changing our state. Until we value education and increase our educated workforce (two- and four-year college, and trades) West Virginia will struggle to diversify our economy and provide good jobs to our citizens. Our children are indeed our future; protecting their interest by improving our education system must be our priority. To accomplish that goal we need to remove some top-down state bureaucracy, let teachers do the job they are trained to do, pay our teachers a competitive wage, and provide incentives (paying off their college loans over a period of years) to encourage our best and brightest to pursue teaching careers and to keep them in W.Va.

If elected, how will you improve the economy of the Northern Panhandle?

First, I would hope to meet with Northern Panhandle legislators from both sides of the aisle to see if we could begin to work together for the good of our area. We need to understand and prepare for the jobs and community needs that the cracker plant planned in Ohio will bring to our area. We need to encourage and foster regional meetings with local colleges, businesses and investors to prepare for the residual opportunities that will come from the temporary increase of population of worker’s in the area. Preparation is the key to improving our economy.

What is the most important message you hope to get across to the voters?

I will be their voice in Charleston. I come from a working-class family who often struggled to make ends meet. I understand the difficulties faced and the needs of working families. As the first person in my extended family to graduate from college (who paid my own way, including student loans), I understand the importance of education and how it improves opportunity and quality of life. My work experience in the public sector in the housing industry, the private sector in public finance and as a local small business owner for over 30 years gives me a unique perspective and understanding to help improve our state’s economy.

How will you work to move West Virginia forward?

First, I will hold public officials accountable. The Supreme Court fiasco, paying over a million dollars for rent on a building the state wasn’t using, having no idea how many vehicles are in the state fleet, are just several examples of items that need to be brought under control. I will also work to improve transparency in state government. Corporations taking our natural resources need to do so in a way that is fair to our citizens and pay their fair share of taxes. I will work to help make sure this occurs. For too long, corporate profits have driven the legislative process.

 

 

 



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