Three candidates are running for a seat in the West Virginia Senate District 4 race.
The candidates will serve alongside Senator Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson.
The candidates are (listed as they appear on the ballot) Eric J. Tarr, Republican; Brian Prim, Democrat; and Amy Nichole Grady, Independent.
District 4 covers all of Jackson and Mason counties, as well as part of Roane and Putnam counties.
The election is on Nov. 6.
Each candidate was asked to submit a statement of no more than 300 words for this article. These statements have been edited for spelling, punctuation, and newspaper style, but not for length or content.
• Dr. Eric J. Tarr, Republican, Scott Depot, Mason County
I’m Dr. Eric J. Tarr, the conservative candidate running for State Senate in District 4. I have three children and have been married for 28 years. I’m running to offer my experience in job creation, economic development, service, and leadership to lift West Virginia. I’ll work hard to see West Virginia become a place of opportunity again for the sons and daughters of the Mountain State.
My whole entrepreneurial and service career has been spent generating ideas then transforming them into reality. I’ve created over 150 jobs in over 20 small businesses in 10 different industries in our state. I want to bring my work ethic, experience, relationships, and knowledge of job creation to the West Virginia State Senate to make West Virginia a state of opportunity for generations to come.
Working my way from poverty has blessed me with experiences that have made some things crystal clear. Smaller government uses less of our hard-earned money and is less restrictive on our liberties. Hard work and entrepreneurship should be rewarded and not penalized by redistribution of your earnings to those who are unwilling to put in the same effort.
I am pro-life, and the only candidate in my race endorsed by West Virginians for Life. I am pro-Second Amendment freedoms and the only candidate in my race to receive the highest NRA rating (AQ-first time candidate). I am also endorsed by the Citizens Defense League.
Serving as an intern in the VA cemented my respect for veterans. Our flag and anthem are born of American blood and deserve respect. Flag burning and refusing to stand for the anthem are direct insults to those generations of individuals and families that sacrificed everything for our freedoms.
These ideals and more are the reasons I’m running to represent the people of our state.
• Brian Prim, Democrat, Fraziers Bottom, Mason County
I am Brian Prim and I am running for State Senate District 4. The reason is simple, to give the people their voice in government. For far too long, and especially in the past few years, our state legislature has become detached from the residents and appears to be working for out-of-state corporate interests.
Even more troubling is the fact that our representatives act as if they are above the rest of us, to the point of not talking to constituents during the session. In my opinion this must end. We have great people in Jackson, Roane, Mason, and Putnam counties. We have people who want to make this state better for our future generations.
I feel we should all play a role in government. Our senator should take our ideas and beliefs to Charleston, not his or her own. And more importantly, the senator should engage the community in the issues we face so that people understand how and why decisions are being made.
The issues with teachers and public employees must be addressed. We need to invest in education and make our state known for workforce skill being produced. We need to look for a long-term, permanent funding source for PEIA so that those people we all rely on have the benefits they are promised.
Let’s give the teachers the tools and resources to do their job. Let’s secure the pay of our state police who put their lives on the line every day. We must reinstate the state’s prevailing wage so that local contractors and local workers get the jobs on public projects.
To sum up, I want to make decisions for our state, not for special interest. I want our residents to be involved in the process, not treated like they are a burden. And I want every resident of District 4 to know they have a voice in government.
• Amy Grady, Independent, Leon, Mason County
My name is Amy Nichole Grady, and I am a dedicated teacher at Leon Elementary in Mason County. I would like to address where I stand on some issues people have expressed concerns about.
To begin with, it’s time to make public education a top priority. I have a deep personal investment in public education and offer an inside perspective of what our teachers, students, and service personnel need to help our schools thrive and be successful.
Second, many people are concerned with the current PEIA situation. Being a policyholder myself I am not only personally invested in the fight to keep quality, affordable insurance for all state employees, but the decisions made for PEIA affect my family directly.
Third, the drug crisis in our state is tragic and affects many people in our area. While there is no “cure all” for this problem, we can start by funding more treatment centers, having harsher penalties for drug dealers, and imposing taxes on large pharmaceutical companies who push opioids.
Also, we need to continue to protect the lives of unborn children. I believe God intends for every life to have a fighting chance and we need to be their voice.
Next, our constitutional rights are constantly under attack. I proudly support our Second Amendment rights. I firmly believe our Constitution needs to be reread, not rewritten.
A common concern with nearly all of these people is that they have a representative from this district that they know will listen, address their concerns, and do what they say they are going to do. I want to bring that trust to the people of our district. It’s time for a change and I am that change we need. So please remember: The right man for the job is this woman.