Editor’s Note: As we approach the November General Election, the Point Pleasant Register will be running “Meet the Candidate” profiles, allowing those running for office in contested races to introduce themselves to voters. Each candidate was given the same word count parameters, then asked to provide background information on themselves and to answer the question “Why are you running for this office?”
MASON COUNTY — Today’s installment of “Meet the Candidates” focuses on the race for House of Delegates, 14th District, which sees Johnnie Wamsley (R-Point Pleasant) and Chris Yeager (D-Southside), running for an open seat in the legislature.
Candidates and their responses to the Register’s request for information, are listed below in alphabetical order.
I was born and raised in Point Pleasant West Virginia; following graduation from Point Pleasant High School in 2006 I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps where I attended boot camp at Parris Island South Carolina. I served eight years of active duty in 13 different countries while reaching the rank of Sergeant. I attended multiple leadership schools, (Leading Marines Junior Leadership Course, Non-Commission Officers Course, Corporals Leadership Course, and Sergeants Leadership Course and many more). I finished my career on recruiting duty in 2015 where my team enlisted over 4,400 Marines from our headquarters in Ona, West Virginia. After separation I returned home and attended Marshall University whiles starting our small business in Point Pleasant. My wife (Rachel) and two sons (Ben and Theo) reside back in my hometown of Point Pleasant.
I have obtained the endorsements from the West Virginians for life and National Rifle Association (highest rating for a non-incumbent). I have also obtained the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Greyhound 2k, West Virginia Auto Dealers, West Virginia Bankers endorsements.
Why are you running for this office?
“After returning home I saw that it had changed, gone was the feeling of Americana that I remembered from my youth. The opioid epidemic had ravaged our region, jobs were scarce, plants were closing and our leadership lacked answers that were sufficient. I would talk to the elected officials and would be told that they were limited by red tape and procedures. All the while neighboring counties see their roads improved, their economies booming. That’s why I’m running, because for far too long the same leadership has given the same answers to us. It’s time that we had representation that is not in the pocket of corporate America, stuck in long standing positions or worried about their career status as “politicians.” I’m running because I believe in Mason County, I believe in the 14th District, and most importantly I believe in West Virginians and it’s time to have officials that remember that. I believe that I am that candidate, the candidate that can bring new leadership for a better West Virginia. I hope for your vote November 3, 2020.”
Hello, my name is Chris Yeager. I am a native West Virginian, Marine Corp Veteran, and farmer/small business owner. I graduated cum laude from West Virginia State University in 2004 with a B.S. in communications with a minor in public relations and marketing. I am the proud father of five children – four daughters and a son – with my wife of twenty years, Kara. I have been a consistent presence in our state Capitol over the past decade advocating for change, and I look forward to the opportunity to bring that passion and drive into the inner chambers to be a voice for the people of West Virginia instead of big corporations and out-of-state interests. Given the opportunity, I plan to draw upon my military background and leadership experience to work collaboratively and effectively to bridge the gaps and find common ground among the parties, focusing on unity and mutual cooperation rather than division and discord.
I have received and accepted the endorsement of several organizations with whom my values closely align, including: AFL-CIO, UMWA, IBEW local 317 and 466, IUOE local 132, Mason-Jackson-Roane Labor Council, Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters, Building and Construction Trades PAC, West Virginia Nurses PAC, West Virginia School Service Personnel Association, LAWPAC and Mason County Democratic Women’s Organization. I am committed to helping West Virginia, and specifically District 14, utilize our resources and realize our full potential.
Why are you running for this office?
“I have decided to seek this seat in the House because I believe in the potential of our communities and I want to implement true leadership to solve the issues facing our citizens and working families. I believe we have a tremendous opportunity specifically in agriculture to help bring stability and self-sufficiency to both Mason County and West Virginia as a whole. We are currently faced with a significant food import deficit, in which we could do so much more to equip and support our local farmers to supply the majority of our needs. I also see the desperate need to explore new streams of revenue to invest into our infrastructure, school systems, and PEIA/teacher benefits packages.
“Another issue in which I am passionate to initiate change is the addiction crisis facing our communities. This single issue contributes the most to many of the burdens faced by our children, education system, and communities. From the toll it has taken on our foster care system to the multitude of peripheral societal ramifications stemming from this crisis, the need to utilize new and innovative measures to combat this problem is clear. While there is no one size fits all, one and done solution to this epidemic, there is so much more that can be done in support of our first responders, expanding access to effective rehabilitation services, and exploring alternative treatments to prevent and reduce addiction and overdose rates. If elected, I intend to draft and support legislation to move West Virginia forward into a brighter and more secure future for our children and families.”