Wayne County needs someone who will push for success

October 10, 2018

This is one of a series of columns written by candidates in contested races in the West Virginia general election on Nov. 6.

Albert Einstein is often credited with this quote: “The definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over again while expecting different results.” In Wayne County, it’s time to stop the insanity.

There are many challenges facing our district and state this election cycle that voters must keep in mind.

For decades our local political scene has been dominated by the same families, parties and ideals yet have yielded little results. What has changed in the way of economic development and overall quality of life for our citizens? I want to serve as your delegate. I have no desire to run for any other county or state office. Many times this seat has been used as a starting place in order to run for another position and the voice we need is Charleston is not there because the person holding this seat wants to advance his or her own political desires.

One of the most important issues is the lack of jobs, which has led to an increasing sense of hopelessness in our county. I have lived in Wayne County all my life and have wondered why we can’t prosper as a county when we have the resources to do so. We have abundant natural resources, a willing work force, close-knit communities and a desire to do better. The tools for prosperity are there, yet we keep voting in the same officials or members of “political power” families in the hopes that the results will be different.

It is time for a change in Wayne County, and I want to help provide that change. Together, we can make Wayne County a better place. However, it is going to require a delegate who is willing to ask tough questions and not serve as a rubber stamp for either political party. I will never look to another delegate or special interest group to decide how to cast my vote. I will look to the people of the 19th District because YOU are the special interest group I want to serve.

We need to cast aside political polarity to work together to improve our future. We have known for some time that the coal industry, which has long been our economic lifeblood, has been under attack. However, our leaders have made no attempt to diversify our economy. Our county currently serves as the host of a multi-million dollar intermodal facility in Prichard, yet U.S. Route 52, the primary route into the facility, is falling apart. Under the current Republican leadership in Washington and Charleston, the coal industry is on the upswing and we need a delegate that will be able to work with them in order to ensure that Wayne County gets its fair share.

Our county features awe-inspiring natural features that lend itself to tourism, yet our representatives have glossed over the Beech Fork Lodge, a potential economic boon in itself. In addition, the potential of Cabwaylingo State Park and East Lynn still remains underutilized and ignored.

I would ask that you, the voters, keep these issues in mind on Election Day and ask yourself the following questions: Why did this happen? How did we get here? What can I do to fix the situation?

If you select me as your delegate, I promise I will challenge the state establishment and refuse to accept no as an answer. I will fight for you because I am one of you. Your voice will matter, and I will hear it. I will hold town hall meetings throughout District 19 prior to each legislative session to find out what matters to you and how I can help. I would be honored if you would provide me the opportunity to serve you as your delegate in District 19.

Mark Ross, a resident of Prichard, is a Republican candidate for the West Virginia House of Delegates from District 19, which includes part of Wayne County.

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