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 U.S. HOUSE of REPRESENTATIVES (1st Congressional District)
KENDRA FERSHEE (D)
What prompted you to run for office/re-election?
After the 2016 election, I realized that people are tired of politics as usual. I started talking to people about who we should have representing us, and I said I believed there should be more representatives who are working people who can’t afford to quit their jobs to for office and who have children in school. People agree, but then many people suggested that I run. After initially resisting, I eventually realized, if not me, who? If not now, when?
What do you believe to be the most important issues in your race?
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The most important issue in this race is loyalty. Who is going to work to make sure West Virginians get the help and support they deserve? Who is going to work to protect health care, fight for teachers and students, and consistently stand up to out-of-state corporate interests. We need to fight to save our people from drug addiction, to make sure our kids can get a good education and to provide health care for everyone, regardless of where they work or how old they are. The biggest issue is having someone the people can trust to put West Virginia and West Virginians first, all the time, every time.
If elected, how will you improve the economy of the Northern Panhandle?
I will work to improve infrastructure and support schools. Tax cuts for businesses, on their own, are a failed plan. We need to provide the whole package of what employers are seeking. The added value is that everything new employers want is what the Northern Panhandle and the rest of the West Virginia First District deserve: good roads, quality education, and trained, skilled workers who can get the health care they need.
What is the most important message you hope to get across to the voters?
I want to make sure West Virginians know that they deserve to enjoy the full freedom this great nation provides, and too many of us can’t do that right now. You aren’t living free, if you’re addicted to drugs and can’t get help or you can’t see a doctor because you lost your job. You are not living free if your kids and grandkids need to leave West Virginia to get good jobs or find quality education. You are not living free if you can’t get your products to market because of bad roads or you can’t access the internet. We can handle all of this if we prioritize it. I will work to restore and expand the freedom all West Virginians deserve.
If elected, what will your top three legislative priorities be?
1) Increased federal education funding and opposition to Betsy DeVos’ school voucher programs and budget cuts.
2) Universal health care (which has the added bonus of helping to combat the opioid epidemic).
3) Job creation by embracing innovative solutions and new industries such as hemp and cannabis.