Two candidates are vying for a seat in the 11th Delegate District.
Martin “Rick” Atkinson III, a Republican, is the incumbent. He is opposed by Democrat Sarah Duncan. Both are from Reedy in Roane County.
The 11th Delegate District covers all of Roane County and part of Jackson County.
Each candidate was asked to submit a statement of approximately 300 words. The statements have been edited for spelling, grammar, and newspaper style but not for content.
The election is Nov. 6.
Rick Atkinson, Republican
Reedy, Roane County
I am Delegate Rick Atkinson and I am running for re-election in District 11. I have lived and worked in Roane and Jackson counties for almost 70 years. I am married to Jeanette, and we have raised four children and have four grandchildren.
I was born and raised on a farm near Reedy, went to Reedy Elementary School, Spencer High School, and graduated from West Virginia University.
Upon graduation from college, I began working for Burke-Parsons-Bowlby/Stella-Jones Corp, based out of our Fairplain office, in sales and marketing, selling wood products, and I retired after 37 years. Later, I worked as a water line inspector in Southern Jackson County, then as sales manager for Mountain State Log Homes for two years, and now as your full-time Delegate in District 11.
Jobs and job creation was and still is one of my goals for our area. We need to be adding value and downstream job opportunities to our natural resources before shipping them out of state – whether it is oil, gas, timber, coal, or water, keeping jobs in West Virginia – as well as continuing to find quality markets for our agricultural products.
We need a drug-free, educated work force. We need to revamp our education system in some areas to prepare our students for the skills needed for jobs in the future.
We need more professionals in our schools to handle and help prevent student behavioral and mental-health issues caused by parental drug and alcohol abuse. This will give teachers more time to teach, students more time to achieve, and assistance to those who have emotional problems due to an unstable home life caused by the opioid crisis.
I will continue to work hard for jobs in our communities, our infrastructure, hospitals, schools, businesses, broadband, youth programs, and drug-prevention and rehabilitation programs.
I am working for a drug-free, educated, able-bodied, stable-minded work force in our communities and West Virginia
Sarah Duncan, Democrat
Reedy, Roane County
I’ve been a teacher my entire career, and during that time, I have watched students, families, and public employees struggle under the burden of underfunded schools, stagnating wages, and poverty. During the educator work stoppage this past Spring, it became very clear that many of our legislators are more interested in pleasing out-of-state corporations and interest groups than making decisions that benefit the people that live and work in this state.
When I was asked by community members to run for House of Delegates in District 11 in Roane and Jackson counties, I felt honored and accepted. I’ve pledged to take no corporate contributions, and I am endorsed and supported by individuals and organizations who support real West Virginia working families. I will listen to concerns and research the issues, and I will make decisions that are in the best interest of West Virginians.
Over the past several months, I have attended many local events and have hosted the first ever Community Listening Tour in Roane and Jackson counties. Through these events, I am hearing about and learning what people actually want to happen in our state.
Our state has many needs, but I will focus on promoting and funding strong schools, increasing access and availability to affordable healthcare, increasing wages for working families, protecting our seniors, and reining in corporate influence. This will improve our economy, encourage job growth, and improve the lives of regular West Virginia citizens.
I am a native West Virginian, resident of Reedy, and a teacher at Walton Elementary Middle School. I have a BA in economics and an MA in education. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, and you can follow my campaign on Facebook @SarahDuncanWV or on my website sarahduncan2018.com.