Four candidates are running for a 13th Delegate District seat in West Virginia.
The candidates are, in the order they appear on the ballot: Republican Scott Cadle of Letart, Mason County; Republican Joshua Kurt Higginbotham of Poca, Putnam County; Democrat Scott Brewer, of New Haven, Mason County; and Independent Todd Mullins, Leon, of Mason County.
Brewer and Higginbotham are the incumbents.
The 13th Delegate District is composed of parts of Jackson, Mason, and Putnam counties.
Each candidate was asked to submit a statement of no more than 300 words for this article. Not all candidates submitted 300 words. The statements have been edited for spelling, punctuation, and newspaper style, but not for content or length.
The election is Nov. 6
The following are the candidates’ statements, with each candidate listed in the order they appeared on a sample ballot provided to the newspaper by the Jackson County Clerk’s Office.
• Scott Cadle, Republican, Letart, Mason County
I have always believed in West Virginia, and I have always known that we have the people and natural resources available to make our state the best in the nation.
As a Native West Virginian and self-employed trucker for over 45 years, I know what it means to work very hard to make a living here. I was as frustrated as you at being 49th or 50th place in everything good and in the top 5 in most things bad and our children having to leave to find work.
But this is my home, and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else, so I have stayed because I want our children and grandchildren to be able to stay too and make a good life and living.
In order to do so, we have to have the business climate to make that happen. I have worked for West Virginians before and will work hard for them again to make sure that we stay the course we are on and continue to improve our business climate.
I am proud to be a part of the oil and gas Industry and to see what it is doing to help improve our state. I foresee manufacturing returning to West Virginia as we start to realize that being fifth in the world with natural gas – and with the least expensive natural gas – will make us a state that businesses will soon flock to or expand their operations.
I am pro-business, pro-Second Amendment (endorsed by NRA and WVCDL), pro-life (endorsed by West Virginians For Life), and also endorsed by the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, West Virginia Manufacturers Association and others.
I ask for your vote to ensure that we have the necessary votes in Charleston to make West Virginia the best state it can be.
• Joshua Kurt Higginbotham, Republican, Poca, Putnam County
Jackson County has a special place in my heart. I’m proud to represent the working families, students, small business owners, and men and women of faith from Ravenswood to Cottageville.
Our community has seen some rough times, but we’re doing better than we were a couple years ago. I’m proud to have helped bring newer, better-paying jobs to Jackson County which strengthen our economy.
I fought hard to bring millions of dollars in road repairs and new construction to our area. We also passed meaningful policies that fight the drug epidemic while simultaneously supporting our law enforcement and fire departments.
However, there is still work to do. Our veterans and senior citizens are being taken advantage of, and I want to change that. I’m the only candidate for the House of Delegates who has pledged to eliminate the tax on social security—a step that would put millions of dollars back in the pockets of folks here in Jackson County.
I’m pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, and will continue to fight for Ravenswood and Cottageville down at the Capitol in Charleston.
All this requires a victory in the election. That’s why I’m asking for you to vote for Joshua Kurt Higginbotham to the House of Delegates this November.
• Scott Brewer, Democrat, New Haven, Mason County
As we approach the last few weeks of the election cycle, West Virginians have some tough choices ahead. Since my election in 2016, I have tried to push a commonsense agenda that will bring prosperity back to West Virginia. Instead, we have seen a number of radical, anti-middle class agenda items dominate the last few legislative sessions.
In the last legislative session, we had an opportunity to enact meaningful tax cuts for us all, including a cut in the income tax on social security for our seniors, but these proposals were rejected by the legislative leadership in favor of a tax cut for the wealthy. No struggling senior or working family should have to bear the costs of government to give a break for those who can most afford it.
Property owners and their rights have been under attack for the last few years as Charleston politicians have sided with wealthy corporations to force property owners to lease their mineral rights under “forced-pooling” legislation. This will continue to be an issue until we have new leadership in the Legislature.
Though working teachers and state employees enjoyed one victory this session in their struggle to make a decent wage, they will likely face another tough fight to protect and strengthen their PEIA benefits. Well-paid teachers who have access to good benefits will mean we have schools better prepared to train and educate our future workforce. This is an investment which must be made.
As we go to the ballot box this November, we need to have a clear eye on which politicians have their eye on the concerns of ordinary people. Since my first day, I have fought for working people and if sent back, I will continue to work to bring real results back to our area.
• Todd Mullins, Independent, Leon, Mason County
Honesty. Integrity. Decency. These are things that aren’t prevalent in the West Virginia Legislature.
We have too many people in the Legislature under the thumbnail of lobbyists and special interest groups. It’s time to make a change and elect more honest, hard-working middle-class West Virginians. We need legislators who are in touch with the people of their district and who can relate to their struggles.
I’ve seen my share of struggles from growing up in a single-parent household to trying to raise a family on minimum wage. The citizens of this great state deserve more.
As a candidate for House of Delegates in District 13, I pledge to work hard for the people of Mason, Jackson, and Putnam counties. I will put our needs ahead of the needs of lobbyists and special interest groups. It’s time to turn things around in our favor.
Our First Amendment rights are often protected by our Second Amendment, which is currently under attack. This amendment is crucial to the survival of our state and our country and I will give 100 percent effort to protect it.
Also, the rights of unborn children are being violated. I am a pro-life candidate and will fight for those who can’t fight for themselves.
As an employee of the maintenance department of Mason County Schools and a member of WVSSPA, I see the importance of strong unions. We need to protect the rights of unions and union members. I feel that Right-to-Work is wrong for West Virginia and I believe we need to reinstate the prevailing wage.
My name is Todd Mullins and I am running for House of Delegates in District 13. Please cast your vote for change on Nov. 6.