The Daily Mail Editorial Board is setting down with five of the six candidates running for the Republican nomination in the U.S. House 2nd Congressional District.
Follow along to learn more about the candidates as they answer questions and we get to know them a little better.
That concludes today’s session. We’ll be back tomorrow with more candidates.
Merrit asks Lane and Harrison why they’re turning their attention to Congress. Lane says it’s important Republicans keep this seat in attempt to stand united against Obama. Harrison says it’s his duty, and was a tough decision to run.
Merrit asks those with no political background why they want to start with Congress. Walters: Future of West Virginia is being decided in DC. Reed: someone in health care needs to be at the table. Moss: It’s the Lord’s calling on my life.
Walters says partisan politics plays a role. They’re not compromising to move country forward. Reed blames Congress and the president and says people are aggravated with the big divide between left and right.
Brad asks whose fault was the government shutdown. Lane blames President Obama.
Walters, with a background in health insurance, says high-deductible plans and Health Savings Accounts would be better alternative to ACA. He, too, would support repeal of Obamacare.
Reed says if things in health care system don’t change within the next five years, he may have to sale his business.
Reed has a lot of thoughts about Obamacare. Points out just because someone has health insurance, they’re not necessarily healthy. He’s also seen drug prices increase astronomically in recent months.
Moss says he and his family have benefited from Obamacare. Doesn’t see Congress getting enough votes to repeal the act.
Surber asks what is good or bad about Obamacare. Harrison says he’d be willing to repeal it entirely, as it’s harmful to the economy and liberty.
Harrison: “(The Obama administration) believe they’re above the law. If they don’t agree with the law, they wont enforce it or they’ll go beyond what the law allows to promote their agenda.”
Moss: “If we’re going to continue to look to the federal government to answer all our questions, to solve all our problems … we’ll continue to get more of the same.”
Reed: Regulations should be there to ensure safety of people. His issue is with overreach. Government tends to add work to people, especially small business, he says.
Walters says he was personally affected by water crisis. Supports bringing regulations before Congress to make sure they’re appropriate.
Lane says she would introduce a bill that would require regulations to be approved by Congress before they go into effect.
Lane: we all appreciate regulation when it comes to safety and welfare. Her philosophy on regulations is Congress passes laws and agencies shouldn’t enforce or promulgate rules or regulations outside of what is outlined in the law.
Attention now turns to Freedom Industries spill. Brad McElhinny asks candidates to explain where they stand on regulation.
Harrison says he’d be open to looking at other options for speaker. “I think its important to WV we keep this seat republican and try to slow down this administration.”
Walters says he would be willing to break from caucus if Boehner proves to not work in the best interest of the 2nd district. But right now, Walters says, he supports Boehner because he is pro-coal.
Surber asks Lane if she would support Speaker John Boehner. She says she would because he needs team players in his caucus. Background and history differentiates candidates in WV 2nd district.
Introductions are over. Now our editorial board, Don Surber and Kelly Merrit, will question the candidates. Surber notes all candidates are conservative.
Lane: “When I go to Washington, I will stand up for West Virginians and West Virginians can count on me.”
Charlotte Lane says she’s the best person to represent West Virginia in Congress. Notes her history in state House of Delegates and position on International Trade Commission.
Walters says he believes in states rights. Federal government should have a limited role as outlined in the Constitution.
Walters: White House does not keep bureaucracy in check, uses agencies to push an agenda.
Walters says federal government needs lesson in efficiency. Current environment is not conducive to small business because of regulations. Current regulation process is “inappropriate.”
Most of Walters’ experience is in the financial sector. He says his insurance was canceled under Obamacare. “We need to get in there and correct it immediately.” Notes need for health care reform, but says ACA is the wrong approach.
Ron Walters Jr. is son of Kanawha Delegate Ron Walters Sr. and brother of state Sen. Chris Walters.
Reed says he’s a victim of government overreach and over-regulation. The three biggest bullies are the ATF, EPA and DEA, and all use “obscure regulations.” Reed says he’s had enough of it.
Eastern Panhandle candidates usually face big obstacles in running in the second district. Reed says he’s trying to connect all parts of the district.
Reed is a pharmacist and says that’s what inspired him to run for Congress. He says he doesn’t like what he sees, and he wants his kids to be able to find jobs in West Virginia.
Ken Reed is one of two candidates running from the Eastern Panhandle. The other, Alex Mooney, couldn’t make today’s session.
Moss: there’s a direct connection between level of education and level of poverty in West Virginia. Says teachers work with both arms tied behind their backs.
Moss says Constitution is a “divinely appointed document” and we need to do a better job of following it.
Moss now works for Toyota Motor Manufacturing. He says the Lord called him to run for Congress. “He doesn’t call the equipped, but he equips the called.”
Jim Moss is now introducing himself. He has never held public office before. After graduating from WVU-Tech, he couldn’t find employment and settled in South Carolina for a while.
Harrison says accountability and accessibility are important to him. He held 50 town meetings over 14 years in state Legislature, and says he will continue to be accessible in Congress.
Candidate Steve Harrison says he’s been endorsed by Daily Mail 12 times in primary and general elections. He formerly served in State Senate and House of Delegates. Currently works for Poca Valley Bank.
Charlotte Lane and Steve Harrison have joined us. We’re preparing to get started soon.
Candidate meeting will begin shortly. So far, we have Ron Walters, Ken Reed and Jim Moss. Others should show up soon.
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