MASON COUNTY — There are five republicans and four democrats seeking to serve the 13th district in the West Virginia House of Delegates, which includes a portion of Mason County.
There are no contested races in Tuesday’s primary in the 14th District with Delegate Jim Butler, R-Gallipolis Ferry and challenger Samantha Fooce, D-Point Pleasant, running unopposed. Currently Scott Cadle, R-Letart, is the other representative from the 13th but chose not to seek another term as delegate, instead running for Mason County Commissioner.
In the 13th, incumbent Michael Ihle, R-Ravenwood, will be facing GOP challengers Robert Marchal, R-Letart, Amanda Cadle, R-Nitro, Kathie Hess Crouse, R-Buffalo and Joshua Kurt Higginbotham, R-Poca. The democratic ticket includes challengers Scott Brewer, D-New Haven, Marla “Dee” Ingels, D-New Haven, Rosalee Juba-Plumley, D-Poca and George A. Thaxon, D-Cottageville.
The Point Pleasant Register has been requesting and advertising for biographical information from those running and for each candidate to answer the question, “Why I decided to run for this office?”
The following are responses from those who participated, starting with democrats and listing each candidate in alphabetical order.
Scott Brewer is born and raised in Point Pleasant, a 1978 graduate from Point Pleasant High School with two years technical training at Mason County Vocational Center. He immediately began working as a construction pile driver and carpenter. In 2001, after spending 22 years working in the field as a member of Carpenters Local 1159 in Point Pleasant, he accepted a job as a representative for the carpenters’ union. He says he’s had the good fortune to continue to represent working West Virginians in this capacity for the last 15 plus years.
Brewer said: “I decided to run for this office because of the dysfunctional legislature we’ve experienced over the last two sessions. The current leadership has failed to even propose a plan for our state’s budget, which is a requirement by state code. Their lack of a plan has West Virginia teetering on a fiscal cliff, creating uncertainty in business and fear in our state’s workers and senior citizens. Our legislators wasted precious time debating insignificant issues like raw milk consumption and selling alcohol on Sunday mornings. I’ve spent 49 of my 55 years in Mason County. I have worked here, hunted and fished here, and I’m concerned about average West Virginia issues, not the concerns of special interests from Washington, D.C. Endorsed by numerous organizations including the NRA, my intent is to represent the 13th district and create good paying jobs while balancing the budget – exactly the opposite of the current legislature.”
Amanda Cadle is currently a Operations Supervisor at UPS Freight, formerly the County Coordinator for Congressman Evan Jenkins. She has a B.A. in Government/International Relations from Oral Roberts University, she was president of ORU College Republicans and an intern for Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito.
Cadle said: “I am running to give our future generations of West Virginians the opportunity to succeed here. I was born and raised here, I left to go to college but I chose to come back and work as hard as I can to make my community a better place. I want to focus on the development of businesses, especially small locally owned businesses. I am endorsed by the West Virginia Farm Bureau and will work hard for family farmers. I am and will always be a pro-life candidate.
Kathie Hess Crouse is a wife and a mom of five who homeschooled the youngest two while the older three all graduated from Buffalo High School. She has a Bachelors Degree in Biology with Concentrations in Microbiology and Molecular Biology. She’s worked as a Microbiologist, a Mycologist, and an Analytical Tech. Runs a support group for homeschoolers with almost 850 members. Homeschool liaison. Board of Directors for KVSBDA and WV Super Kids. Coordinates and helps with several large events in Charleston. Volunteer with West Virginia Citizens Defense League to protect Second Amendment rights.WVCDL and NRA Endorsed.
Crouse said: “I decided to run for office because I am fed up with how our state and country are being torn apart. I want to protect and restore our Constitution, freedoms, and liberties. Our constitution was constructed by a group of great and knowledgeable men. Men who knew what life was like without freedoms and liberties. After supporting others at the Capitol, encouraging people to step up and fight for their rights, and lobbying for our rights, I felt I needed to be at the Capitol to make more of a difference. I am not a politician, but I do love our state and our country. I want to protect our 1st and 2nd Amendments and the lives of the innocent. I want to protect and expands parent’s choices for their children. Remove Common Core and return education back to the states. Above all, hold our state government accountable for our money.”
Michael Ihle, currently a delegate from the 13th district, also served as mayor of Ravenswood, is a 2003 Ravenswood High graduate, 2016 graduate of Fort Hays State University with a B.A. in political science and minors in geography and international relations. Currently, he serves on the board of directors of the West Virginia Municipal League. He was Regional Vice President/Treasurer of the West Virginia Jaycees. In the past, he’s been a health insurance agent, Census supervisor, and grocery clerk.
Ihle said “Endorsed by the NRA, WVCDL, Chamber of Commerce, and Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse, I am running for delegate again because our state desperately needs someone who will boldly tell the truth, no matter the cost. To get elected today, politicians will tell you just about anything. Then, they get to Charleston and we find out what they really believe. As one of the only delegates who has never missed a vote, don’t just take my word for it; look at what my record proves. Government’s income shouldn’t go up when yours is going down. The best anti-drug program is a good job. Religious freedom doesn’t make you a bigot, and ‘the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.’ I’m pro-life and if reelected, will continue working towards more jobs, better roads, and no tax increases. Common sense? Maybe. But it sure isn’t common in Charleston right now.”
Joshua Kurt Higginbotham says he has learned that hard work pays off. He started preaching at age 13, wrote his first book at 14, served as a student ambassador in Europe at 15, worked in the US Senate at 16, was a leader in a global organization at 17, and is currently running for the House of Delegates at a young age. He said he has a strong work ethic in everything he does, and that is something needed in government no matter what age elected officials are.
Higginbotham said: “I grew up on a farm in rural West Virginia, the youngest of four children and the son of a union welder. No Higginbotham had ever attended college and none had left my hometown—until I decided to pursue my own American dream. I’m running for the House of Delegates to help make West Virginia great again, and I want to ensure that young people in our state have the ability to succeed just as I have. No matter where you come from, regardless of your circumstance, I will give everyone the opportunity to pursue your American dream, too.”
Robert Marchal says he’s always been a hard worker and started working at the age of 16, at times having two jobs at once to pay the bills. He has worked in construction, plants and has done automotive work, at one time starting a speed shop. For the past 15 years he’s been a truck driver and recently bought his own truck, starting Marchal Trucking. He attended PPHS, later receiving his GED. He says he’s a proud member of the New Haven Volunteer Fire Department, a member of the Red Knights Chapter 8 motorcycle club and attends Soul Harvest Church in Mason.
Marchal said: “First I would like to say I am an average guy. The reason I decided to run is to try to make a difference. For many years I have set around complaining about what our elected officials do or don’t do. So I decided to run in hopes of making a difference. I will look at the issues and do the research needed to be well informed. Then I will do my very best to make the right and common sense decision on behalf of the people I represent.”
Reach Beth Sergent at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.