May 2012 Primary US Senate

Voters Guide May 8, 2012 West Virginia Primary Election

This candidate information is brought to you by the League of Women Voters of West Virginia as a public service. Candidate responses are printed exactly as received, including spelling, grammar and content. Candidates’ responses were limited to 50 words.

Democratic Candidates for Unites States Senate

CANDIDATE Sheirl Fletcher

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Monongalia

PARTY Democratic

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Sheirl Fletcher, former two-term member of WV Legislature and WVU graduate, is a geologist and environmental specialist with 30+year career in the energy sector. The mother of two grown children, she understands women’s health, education and children issues. Visit www.fletcherforUSSenate.com for info on jobs, energy and protection of the environment.

QUESTION 1. What should be done to control mounting Medicare costs?

ANSWER: I support Medicare reforms leading to better health for patients and lower costs for providers and taxpayers, including: Invest in patient safety – lower hospital readmissions and hospital- acquired conditions; Reform provider payments- rewarding quality and efficiency; Crack down on fraud and abuse; Reduce excessive Medicare payments to insurance companies.

QUESTION 2. What programs are you willing to cut or eliminate in order to reduce the federal deficit?

ANSWER: Congress must operate under a balanced budget process. In addition to the CBO, an independent federal auditing office should be created to review the budget, identify cost saving measures and make recommendations to Congress. Government waste/fraud and duplicative services must be eliminated, and government programs made more efficient and effective.

CANDIDATE Joe Manchin

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Marion

PARTY Democratic

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: As U.S. Senator, Joe stands up for West Virginia and commonsense. He focuses on creating jobs, getting our finances in order, keeping our promises to seniors and veterans and energy independence. Joe is from Farmington and is an outdoorsman and businessman. He and Gayle have three children and seven grandchildren.

QUESTION 1. What should be done to control mounting Medicare costs?

ANSWER: Before we touch the core of the program, we need to eliminate the waste, fraud and abuse in the system. The government auditors found $125 billion in waste across the government last year, and we should make sure we’re using every dollar the right way before we consider changing critical services.

QUESTION 2. What programs are you willing to cut or eliminate in order to reduce the federal deficit?

ANSWER: We need to get our financial house in order, like we did in West Virginia. First, nation-building in Afghanistan should end immediately. By the end of 2012, we will have spent $650 billion. We’re building their roads, bridges and schools when we should be rebuilding America and reducing our deficit.

Republican Candidate for Unites States Senate

CANDIDATE John R. Raese

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Monongalia

PARTY Republican

Candidate did not reply

doc iconMay 2012 Primary US Senate.doc

May 2012 Primary US House of Representatives, 1st District

Voters Guide May 8, 2012 West Virginia Primary Election

Democratic Candidate for US House of Representatives, First District

CANDIDATE Sue Thorn

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Ohio

PARTY Democratic

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: I graduated from Wheeling Jesuit University in organizational leadership development. After working in economic development, I became the director in a congregation-centered organizing project, tasked with bringing together diverse congregations on social justice issues. I recently organized throughout WV’s 1st District on national issues for the Democratic National Committee. www.Thorn2012.com

QUESTION 1. What should be done to control mounting Medicare costs?

ANSWER: Medicare’s prescription drug costs are out of control because Medicare is not allowed to negotiate prices with pharmaceutical companies. Medicare, the largest purchaser of prescription drugs in the US, should negotiate prices, as does the Veterans Administration. Encouraging preventative care and prosecuting fraud will also cut Medicare costs.

QUESTION 2. What programs are you willing to cut or eliminate in order to reduce the federal deficit?

ANSWER: The Defense Department, the federal budget’s second largest component, has the lowest rate of bidded contracts; furthermore, no-bid contracts have nearly tripled over the last 10 years. We must eliminate the influence corporate profits have, not only in our contracts and purchases, but also in the military actions we pursue.

Republican Candidate for US House of Representatives, First District

CANDIDATE David B. McKinley

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Ohio

PARTY Republican

Candidate did not reply

doc iconMay 2012 Primary US House 1st District.doc

May 2012 Primary US House of representatives, 2nd District

Voters Guide May 8, 2012 West Virginia Primary Election

Democratic Candidates for US House of Representatives, Second District

CANDIDATE Dugald Brown

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Berkeley

PARTY Democratic

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Dugald is a West Virginia native born in Martinsburg who attended WVU receiving a B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science, minor in Communications, and certificate in Digital Forensics. Currently an IT consultant who must regularly make technology choices based on pro/con criteria rather than political climate.

QUESTION 1. What should be done to control mounting Medicare costs?

ANSWER: The best way to control Medicare costs is to control the overall costs of healthcare – discussing single-payer is a necessity. Also helping would be examining for duplicate processes and consolidate these across the whole program. This approach would allow us to consolidate and reduce Medicare infrastructure.

QUESTION 2. What programs are you willing to cut or eliminate in order to reduce the federal deficit?

ANSWER: I would like to take a program-by-program approach to search for duplicate functionality and consolidate programs across all departments. This approach would allow us to consolidate and reduce government infrastructure. Also during this process, examine programs/subsidies for relevancy to current timeframe and eliminate outdated issues.

CANDIDATE William McCann

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Jefferson

PARTY Democratic

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: I was raised in Morgan County, and now live in Jefferson County with my wife and daughter. I received degrees in History and Philosophy from WVU. I have a firm understanding of the issues that affect middleclass West Virginians and real solutions to the problems we face. Website: mccannforcongress.com

QUESTION 1. What should be done to control mounting Medicare costs?

ANSWER: To curb Medicare costs, the price of healthcare in general must come down. This may be achieved by promoting and expanding the number of healthcare professionals educated and employed in the U.S. The prices of medical equipment, medicine, and services should be made affordable to all Americans through regulation.

QUESTION 2. What programs are you willing to cut or eliminate in order to reduce the federal deficit?

ANSWER: I propose we create an agency which audits each government entity, to ensure that money is used wisely and not wasted or used fraudulently. The government should also be required to publish a yearly receipt that is available to the public. Wasteful programs would be apparent and should be cut.

CANDIDATE Howard Swint

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Kanawha

PARTY Democratic

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Swint is recognized for his whistleblower role in the State of West Virginia’s purchase of the Greenbrooke Building through George Hohmann’s 2008 award-winning investigative series in the Charleston Daily Mail that resulted in savings of $3.4 million. Swint holds two Master degrees from WVU. Swint for Congress (Facebook) for more.

QUESTION 1. What should be done to control mounting Medicare costs?

ANSWER: Medicare spends over $50 billion annually on patient healthcare services provided in the last two months of their lives. It would be better to invest in preventive care for children to correspondingly reduce the provision of services in the ER, something that we all pay for, and extend healthier lives.

QUESTION 2. What programs are you willing to cut or eliminate in order to reduce the federal deficit?

ANSWER: Drastically reduce DoD spending for nuclear weapon programs, F-35 jet fighter, V-22 Osprey, “Next Gen” bomber, M1 tank, Littoral Combat Ship, and most SBIRS space weapons; reduce two full Navy wings and two aircraft carrier groups; close bases in more than 25 countries including South Korea, Afghanistan, and Europe.

Republican Candidates for US House of Representatives, Second District

CANDIDATE Shelly Moore Capito

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Kanawha

PARTY Republican

Candidate did not reply

CANDIDATE Michael “Mike” Davis

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Randolph

PARTY Republican

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Born in Ohio in 1946, I moved to WV in 1973. I’ve worked since I was ten. I worked my way through college. I have a B.A. in English. I am an artist/entrepreneur (www.shiboriwest.com) and own a campground (www.watergapretreat.com). I have four wonderful children and three grandchildren. www.michaeldavisforcongress.com

QUESTION 1. What should be done to control mounting Medicare costs?

ANSWER: By far, the last six months of health care costs for the elderly are the most expensive. It would save money and greatly improve the quality of life of the patients, their families, and friends, if providers were required to discuss end-of-life options with their elderly patients.

QUESTION 2. What programs are you willing to cut or eliminate in order to reduce the federal deficit?

ANSWER: The U.S. spends almost as much on our military as the rest of the world combined. I would bring the troops home from all over the world and drastically reduce military spending. Also, I would shrink the prison system by decriminalizing drugs. Drug use is a health issue.

CANDIDATE Jonathan Miller

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Berkeley

PARTY Republican

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Family – Wife, Kimberly Miller, Step-son, Michael Williams. Education – Bachelor of Arts in political science from High Point University in High Point, NC – 2006. Work Experience – Loan Officer, Lincoln Mortgage. Substitute Teacher, Berkeley County Schools, Health Insurance Consultant, Self-employed. Political Experience – Delegate, WV House of Delegates, Elected 2006, 2008, and 2010

QUESTION 1. What should be done to control mounting Medicare costs?

ANSWER: One possible way to do this is to allow people to opt out of Medicare. Opting out gives people choices about Medicare while also “shutting off the valve” of future, long run Medicare costs. Any money lost in the short run should be replaced by cutting wasteful and unnecessary spending.

QUESTION 2. What programs are you willing to cut or eliminate in order to reduce the federal deficit?

ANSWER: We can cut over $500 billion, over 10% of the current budget, by placing caps on spending and eliminating unobligated amounts of money. “Unobligated amounts of money” is extra money just sitting around not being used for anything. Think of this as eliminating the “petty cash” fund for government agencies.

doc iconMay 2012 Primary US House 2nd District.doc

May 2012 Primary US House of Representatives, 3rd District

Voters Guide May 8, 2012 West Virginia Primary Election

Democratic Candidate for US House of Representatives, Third District

CANDIDATE NAME Nick J. Rahall II

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Raleigh

PARTY Democratic

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: A native West Virginian, Rahall is the top Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. He has brought millions of dollars to West Virginia, creating jobs through federal investments in transportation, tourism, and technology. He is an advocate of coal miners, veterans, and seniors, and working middle-class families.

QUESTION 1. What should be done to control mounting Medicare costs?

ANSWER: We must protect Medicare benefits and services that seniors are relying on, especially for those on fixed incomes. I am fighting efforts to privatize or end traditional Medicare, while emphasizing savings through preventive health services, allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, and rewarding quality, cost effective care.

QUESTION 2. What programs are you willing to cut or eliminate in order to reduce the federal deficit?

ANSWER: Having voted for some painful spending cuts, I am also trying to eliminate abusive, special interest tax breaks like those for Big Oil. Balancing the budget requires growing the economy. We must invest in infrastructure, education and job training, and cutting-edge research and development that will create American jobs.

Republican Candidates for US House of Representatives, Third District

CANDIDATE NAME Lee A. Bias

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Cabell

PARTY Republican

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Lee is a lifelong resident of WV who has worked in many levels of healthcare. He has also been very involved in his community. As your next Congressman, he will fight to take WV values to DC and quit forcing DC values on WV. Lee will fight for you!

QUESTION 1. What should be done to control mounting Medicare costs?

ANSWER: I have worked in the health care industry for most of my adult life; I have a firsthand understanding of this issue. I will bring my insight and experience to Washington DC to make true reform a reality. I will fight to preserve Medicare and to improve access to care.

QUESTION 2. What programs are you willing to cut or eliminate in order to reduce the federal deficit?

ANSWER: We cannot continue to borrow 43 cents on every Federal Dollar spent. I will look at every program, determine what is essential, and then cut, or reduce spending on those expenditures that do not secure national security and social stability. We must balance our budget and eliminate the national debt.

CANDIDATE NAME Bill Lester

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Raleigh

PARTY Republican

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: My name is Bill Lester. I was born and raised in West Virginia. I graduated from Concord College. I went to Marshall University and then transferred to Antioch School of Law. Find out more information at www.billlester4congress.com

QUESTION 1. What should be done to control mounting Medicare costs?

ANSWER: Medicare costs can be contained by paying closer attention to fraud and abuse.

QUESTION 2. What programs are you willing to cut or eliminate in order to reduce the federal deficit?

ANSWER: I am willing to cut or eliminate Obamacare, EPA, Department of Education, Department of Energy, foreign aid to unfriendly nations, U.N., IMF, Department of Justice jurisdiction as it relates to the state’s right to determine voter qualification, and reasonable request by police to determine citizenship in the midst of investigation.

CANDIDATE NAME Rick Snuffer

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Raleigh

PARTY Republican

Candidate did not reply

doc iconMay 2012 Primary US House 3rd District.doc

May 2012 Primary WV Governor

Voters Guide May 8, 2012 West Virginia Primary Election

Democratic Candidates for West Virginia Governor

CANDIDATE Arne Moltis

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Kanawha

PARTY Democratic

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION:

8 years of college, partly Notre Dame College, Secondary Education Teaching Degree Acquired. Worked 2 years in West Virginia as a substitute. Worked 3 years in a car dealership in Charleston W.V. and then worked 4 years in Dept of Health and Human Resources in the Dunbar Office. Left DHHR (exceeded word limit)

QUESTION 1. How would you balance the increasing demand for developing West Virginia’s energy resources while improving the quality of life and the environment?

ANSWER: I am pro coal and I will use this resource as much as possible to produce electricy maybe build more coal fired plants if needed and any extra electricity sell it to other states and West Virginia to get the extra money for building or repairing roads and help with (exceeded word limit)

QUESTION 2. What are the state’s most critical education issues and how would you address them?

ANSWER: To start with the students getting a healthy meal is the most important. Students need good and nutritious food to study. I will eliminate red slime beef also known as ammonia beef from the menu which the school system is currently using to save money at the expense of our (exceeded word limit)

CANDIDATE Earl Ray Tomblin

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Logan

PARTY Democratic

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: I am a lifelong West Virginian who spent his career working to make West Virginia a better place. I have degrees from WVU and Marshall, and before becoming governor served as state Senate president. I’m proud to have helped position our state to take advantage of our tremendous potential.

QUESTION 1. How would you balance the increasing demand for developing West Virginia’s energy resources while improving the quality of life and the environment?

ANSWER: I am fighting over-regulation by the EPA and also led the way with reasonable regulations to allow development of Marcellus Shale while protecting the environment. Our state must remain a leader in energy production, and the mine safety bill we passed this session will help us do that responsibly.

QUESTION 2. What are the state’s most critical education issues and how would you address them?

ANSWER: I’m passionate about education and am pleased we are undertaking a comprehensive examination of our school system. We will act on those recommendations, with any savings being put back into schools. I’ve also worked to address our dropout rate and improve opportunities through our community and technical colleges.

Republican Candidates for West Virginia Governor

CANDIDATE Ralph William “Bill” Clark

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Monongalia

PARTY Republican

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: I am Professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department and Coordinator of the Humanities Program at West Virginia University. I am the author of Make West Virginia No. 1: What We Need to Know to Make West Virginia the Most Prosperous and All-Around Best State. www.ralphwilliamclark.com.

QUESTION 1. How would you balance the increasing demand for developing West Virginia’s energy resources while improving the quality of life and the environment?

ANSWER: I will strongly support economic reforms that make coal and gas companies more competitive, such as lowering their taxes and reducing red tape, but I will also insist that they adhere to strict environmental standards. I won’t go overboard as regards the environment, but will seek the exact right balance.

QUESTION 2. What are the state’s most critical education issues and how would you address them?

ANSWER: With education (and other serious problems) WV would benefit the most if it became much more prosperous. There is a way to guarantee that this will happen – make West Virginia the state that does everything right in competition with other states. I have a plan for doing this quickly.

CANDIDATE Bill Maloney

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Monongalia

PARTY Republican

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: BSIE from Lehigh University. 1984: I co-founded North American Drillers, grew it from a two-person business to become the world leader in large-diameter shaft drilling for mining and other industries. Participation in 2010 Chilean mine rescue changed my life. My wife, Sharon, and I have two daughters and one grandchild.

QUESTION 1. How would you balance the increasing demand for developing West Virginia’s energy resources while improving the quality of life and the environment?

ANSWER: Our natural resources are our greatest asset -all of them. We will reform our tax, legal, and regulatory systems to help create new job opportunities. West Virginia needs to promote manufacturing, tourism, and other value-added activities that will truly diversify our economy while protecting our environment.

QUESTION 2. What are the state’s most critical education issues and how would you address them?

ANSWER: In January the state released a study that identified $90 million in cost savings in education. We need to begin to implement some of its ideas to get more money into the classroom. But most importantly, we need to reward good teachers and encourage parental involvement.

doc iconMay 2012 Primary WV Governor.doc

May 2012 Primary WV Secretary of State

Voters Guide May 8, 2012 West Virginia Primary Election

Democratic Candidate for West Virginia Secretary of State

CANDIDATE Natalie E. Tennant

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Kanawha

PARTY Democratic

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: I’m currently Secretary of State. We’ve made great strides in providing accessible elections, serving our state’s businesses and having transparency and accountability in state government. I have bachelors and masters degrees from WVU. Please visit www.natalietennant.com

QUESTION 1. Do you think it is a good idea to require voters to show a photo ID at the polls on Election Day? Why or why not?

ANSWER: Voting is a right, not a privilege. We require ID when registering. Our democracy is only as strong as our most vulnerable voter. Arbitrary barriers or unrealistic restrictions weaken those voters and our election process. Photo IDs could be used if we ensure no cost or disenfranchisement to any voter.

QUESTION 2. What changes in current election laws do you think are necessary?

ANSWER: Registering to vote online would strengthen the process and save time and money for clerks and SOS office. We’ve worked to clean up some of the code to strengthen the election process and we are working to re-codify the Election Chapter 3 of the State code.

Republican Candidate for West Virginia Secretary of State

CANDIDATE Brian Savilla

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Mason

PARTY Republican

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: I am currently in the House of Delegates for the 14th District and a social studies teacher in Putnam County.

QUESTION 1. Do you think it is a good idea to require voters to show a photo ID at the polls on Election Day? Why or why not?

ANSWER: Yes, photo ID to vote is a good idea. Citizens must show their ID’s to do nearly everything today, except vote. It does not disenfranchise nor discriminate anymore than cashing a check or flying a plane. It simply adds further security to our elections.

QUESTION 2. What changes in current election laws do you think are necessary?

ANSWER: Changes to election laws need to be Voter ID, clarifying that no felons can run since the one from Lincoln County was able to, and increasing penalties on those who harm our elections. The rest is already set in place but is not enforced.

doc iconMay 2012 Primary WV Secretary of State.doc

May 2012 Primary WV Attorney General

Voters Guide May 8, 2012 West Virginia Primary Election

Democratic Candidate for West Virginia Attorney General

CANDIDATE Darrell V. McGraw, Jr.

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Kanawha

PARTY Democratic

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: John McGraw School; Berea Academy; Pineville High; honor graduate, US Army Leadership School; A.B., M.A., J.D., WVU; post graduate programs, W&L, NYU, HU/GWU; CLEs; Supreme Court Justice; attorney, FCSC/US Department of State; counsel to Governor Smith; Attorney General.

QUESTION What changes would you like to implement in the attorney general’s office?

ANSWER: The Attorney General does not have the power to prosecute criminals. We believe such authority should be provided to the Attorney General so that the citizens of West Virginia will not have to rely on the federal government for protection against political corruption or Internet fraud.

Republican Candidate for West Virginia Attorney General

CANDIDATE Patrick Morrisey

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Jefferson

PARTY Republican

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: A health care lawyer from Harpers Ferry, Morrisey has worked on many high profile matters and possesses over 20 years of significant legal, policy, governmental, and regulatory experience. Morrisey assisted the 26 states’ successful challenge to the individual health care mandate and has extensive experience analyzing Medicaid law.

QUESTION What changes would you like to implement in the attorney general’s office?

ANSWER: I will take a fresh look at how the Office of Attorney General operates, reform it, and then reallocate resources to advance freedom and limited government. We will advance ethics reform, repeal unconstitutional mandates, create a better business climate, and stop using state monies for self-promotion.

doc iconMay 2012 Primary WV Attorney General.doc

May 2012 Primary WV Auditor

Voters Guide May 8, 2012 West Virginia Primary Election

Democratic Candidate for West Virginia Auditor

CANDIDATE Glen B. Gainer III

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Wood

PARTY Democratic

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Glen B. Gainer III was elected the 19th State Auditor in November, 1992. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Charleston and attended the Washington Center for Learning. Gainer is board chairman of the National White Collar Crime Center, past president of the National Association of State Auditors/Comptrollers/Treasurers.

QUESTION What would you do to provide the public with better access to information about the financial operations of the state?

ANSWER: West Virginia easy on-line access to view state budgeting, revenues and expenditures. This site was recently awarded one of the highest possible rankings, an “A-”, for transparency in state government from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG).

Republican Candidate for West Virginia Auditor

CANDIDATE Larry V. Faircloth

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Berkeley

PARTY Republican

Candidate did not reply

doc iconMay 2012 Primary WV Auditor.doc

May 2012 Primary WV Treasurer

Voters Guide May 8, 2012 West Virginia Primary Election

Democratic Candidate for West Virginia Treasurer

CANDIDATE John D. Perdue

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Kanawha

PARTY Democratic

Candidate did not reply

Republican Candidates for West Virginia Treasurer

CANDIDATE Stephen R. “Steve” Connolly

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Putnam

PARTY Republican

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Steve is a 10 year Putnam Assistant Prosecutor and Hurricane City Solicitor. A Nitro H.S. graduate, he obtained his law degree at WVU, as well as holding M.R.A./B.A. – Christian Psychology, and B.S./A.A.S – Criminal Justice. He’s served as a volunteer firefighter for 19 years. He has 3 sons. www.ConnollyForTreasurer.com

QUESTION: What is your assessment of the state’s long-term financial situation?

ANSWER: Steve will require full transparency in office policies and programs to restore public confidence. Current staffing, expensive field offices and excess expenditures will be reduced or eliminated to form a leaner, trimmer and cost-effective service to taxpayers.

CANDIDATE Mike Hall

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Putnam

PARTY Republican

Candidate did not reply

doc iconMay 2012 Primary WV Treasurer.doc

May 2012 Primary WV Commissioner of Agriculture

Voters Guide May 8, 2012 West Virginia Primary Election

Democratic Candidates for West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture

CANDIDATE Walt Helmick

COUNTY Pocahontas

PARTY Democratic

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Education: Graduate of West Virginia Institute of Technology, Economic Development Institute University of Oklahoma, Hobart and Lincoln Welding School, and the Mindenhall School of Actioneering.

QUESTION What more needs to be done to encourage West Virginians to produce and consume locally grown agricultural products?

ANSWER: I plan to promote the expansion of existing agribusiness in West Virginia by developing strategic partners and alliances that strengthen and promote its growth. To develop and promote access to capital markets and public financing for agribusinesses. I also plan to promote the creation of cooperatives and regional agricultural collaborations.

CANDIDATE Joe Messineo

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Roane

PARTY Democratic

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Worked In agriculture 46 years: US Army, USDA Animal Health and Plant Protection & Quarantine, USDA State Director of WV, USDA Regional Director, WVDA Animal Health Field Supervisor. I am proficient in: biosecurity and emergency response; federal-state cooperative agreements; personnel management; budget, planning, administration; phytosanitary requirements for export /import. JoeForWVAgCommissioner.com

QUESTION What more needs to be done to encourage West Virginians to produce and consume locally grown agricultural products?

ANSWER: Develop a registry to connect consumers with local food producers and processors. Increase use of high tunnels to extend growing season. Expand all-season farmer’s markets. Upgrade lab capabilities to test for food-borne contaminants. Increase agricultural outreach and education. Reconnect with family farms. With EPA, develop practical solutions to environmental concerns.

CANDIDATE Steve Miller

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Mineral

PARTY Democratic

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: I am Assistant Commissioner of Agriculture with a degree in Agriculture. I have worked in or with all aspects of the department for 30 years. I operate a farm with cattle, hay and Christmas trees. I am happily married with 4 wonderful children and 2 grandchilden.

QUESTION What more needs to be done to encourage West Virginians to produce and consume locally grown agricultural products?

ANSWER: Young and beginner farmer initiatives, educational programs promoting innovative and profitable metods will increase the amount of locally grown products. Consumer education programs with healthy eating and lifestyle benefits, chef demonstrations and programs such as, Senior Farmers Market Coupons should be expanded to encourage visits to local markets.

CANDIDATE Sally Shepherd

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Kanawha

PARTY Democratic

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Raised on a dairy, poultry, and crop farm, now managing her family farm, mainly an equine operation. Also growing specialty food crops and a domestic fuelcrop used for home heating. Presently: Elected board member of Capitol Conservation District. Formerly: President WV Farmland Trust, Executive Director Kanawha County Solid Waste Authority.

QUESTION What more needs to be done to encourage West Virginians to produce and consume locally grown agricultural products?

ANSWER: Rising food prices and lowering nutritional value present the need/opportunity to develop a statewide food system to grow, process, distribute, and market local food to West Virginians and for export, resulting in profitable small farms, rural economy stimulation, enhanced food safety and security, and improved health for West Virginians.

CANDIDATE Bob Tabb

COUNTY OF RESIDENCE Jefferson

PARTY Democratic

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Fourth generation farmer. My wife and I own and operate a farm and nursery including agritourism, vegetables, grain, pick-your-own pumpkins and Christmas trees. WV House of Delegates 7 years. Currently Deputy Commissioner WVDA. I’m passionate about producing the safest, most abundant and affordable food possible. Please visit www.bobtabbwv.com.

QUESTION What more needs to be done to encourage West Virginians to produce and consume locally grown agricultural products?

ANSWER: Education and cooperation. Reducing obesity and diabetes will save millions in health care costs. I’ll work with Department of Education,DHHR, Extension,non-profits and others to increase consumption of locally grown food. Assist producers with extending seasons using specialty crop grants and high tunnels. Know Your Farmer – Know Your Food.

No Republican Candidate for West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture is on the Primary Election ballot

doc iconMay 2012 Primary WV Comm. of Agriculture.doc