Three Want Delegate Position
Three area gentlemen are wanting to capture the WV House of Delegates, District 6 seat – David L. Kelly, a Republican from Sistersville, J. Scott Beaver, an Independent from Sistersville, and T. Chris Combs, a Democrat from West Union.
Serving Tyler and Doddridge Counties and the northern-most precinct in Pleasants County (Arvilla), Kelly vowed to be a “strong and powerful voice” for his district.
“There are many issues on the hearts and minds of the people. As your delegate, I will be a strong and powerful voice for our district, serving as a vital and active communication link between the people and the House,” commented Kelly.
Born and raised in neighboring Pleasants County, he is the son of the late John and Darlene (Dotson) Kelly. His mother served as the county’s circuit clerk for many years and his father was a WWII veteran and retiree of Quaker State Oil Refinery.
Kelly entered the arena of public service in 1981 as a Correctional Officer at the Pleasants County Jail, and in 1983 he was hired as a Deputy Sheriff. In 1988, he ran a successful campaign and was elected to the Office of Sheriff, serving two consecutive terms.
During his tenure as Sheriff, he served as the First Vice President of the WV Sheriff’s Association, and in the absence of the Director of the Association of Counties, sat on the Training and Education Committee of state and local police officers.
Kelly’s work with the association propelled him to the legislative floor, where he lobbied on behalf of his fellow police officers. “I was privileged to serve as the Chairman of the Legislative Committee for the WV Sheriff’s Association, working closely with the Fraternal Order of Police, Chiefs of Police and the Deputy Sheriff’s Association concerning legislative matters,” he said.
Following his terms as sheriff, Kelly returned to private sector as an investigator, began pastoring a local church and received his Ph.D.
In 2012, he returned to the public sector as a Criminal Investigator for the Tyler County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, serving the county in this capacity until 2017 when he was appointed to the Tyler County Commission.
Kelly serves as the Senior Pastor for Faith Fellowship Ministries in Pine Grove, W.Va. He and his wife Jan have five adult children, Kristi, Kari, Jonay, Jon and Tyler.
Kelly is poised to serve the citizens of District 6. “Together we will tackle the issues that plague our communities and focus a positive light on the valuable resources that make this area shine.”
As a concerned citizen, Beaver wants to perform the public service of representing the people of District Six. He believes the state is being taken advantage of “again.”
“They took our oil, took our coal, and now they are taking our gas,” Beaver stated. “In the past they have taken our resources and left us as the poorest state in the nation. This has to end. Our whole tax structure needs redone, as I pointed out in my article, ‘A Wake Up Call to Appalachia’ in August 2017.”
The above-mentioned article can be found on Beaver’s website “Beaver4WV.com,” as well as his Facebook page “Beaver4WV.”
“This is a Grassroots effort, and I will not sell my vote to large corporate interests that allow harm to my friends and neighbors. I would be honored to carry our message to Charleston and incorporate it into our laws. I am an Independent; I have conservative values with progressive ideas.”
Beaver sees other areas of concern for District Six – the opioid crisis, lack of Internet infrastructure, looming water concerns, and deteriorating road conditions. Beaver sees these big issues as requiring coordination with neighboring districts, governmental agencies, and each of us.
“We also need to foster business, but not at the detriment of our people and our environment,” said Beaver.
Beaver’s family has lived and worked in Tyler County for five generations. Beaver graduated from Sistersville High School in 1979. He spent five years serving in the United States Air Force, working his way up to Technical Instructor. He taught Aircraft Maintenance.
Beaver worked 10 years as a member of the United Steelworkers and has worked the past 20 years as a member of the United Chemical Workers, which included 18 years as a first responder. Beaver has experience working and cooperating with governmental agencies such as OSHA, EPA, WVDEP, and others.
Over the years, Beaver has been a member of various civic organizations including West Virginia Patriot Guard, American Legion Riders, Friendly Lions, Moose Lodge, and the Masonic Lodge.
Beaver and his wife Darlene have been married for 30 years. They raised their two children in Paden City, where Beaver has enjoyed serving the community by coaching youth sports for many years. The Beavers are now living on a family homestead in Tyler County, and they enjoy time with grandchildren. Many people know J. Scott and Darlene for the large gardens and berry fields they have grown. They also raised cattle and produced hay for many years.
“Your vote will help me address our issues in Charleston,” says Beaver. “Thank you for your support.”
Of his candidacy, Combs has previously stated, “At a time when career politicians continue the same old politics and the same old ways, this comes at the expense of the middle class.”
Combs, a Democrat, would like the opportunity to take a different approach. He said he will be a strong voice for the working class of West Virginia, and will work across the aisle to help create jobs, protect PEIA and Medicare, and stand up for our seniors and veterans, “work to repeal the Right to Work Law, and get our economy working for all families.”
According to the West Virginia Democratic Party website, Combs is a native West Virginian and a 20-year resident of Doddridge County. Combs pledges to fight to: protect the rights of senior citizens, stop the flow of millions out of Medicaid, protect the rights of our veterans, protect the rights of our disabled community, protect the rights of our land owners and farmers, reduce taxes on the working families of West Virginia and mineral rights owners, uphold the Second Amendment and the right for all law-abiding citizens to obtain a concealed carry permit, obtain a better standard of roads, repeal right to work, stabilize PEIA, and how transparency where our tax dollars are being spent.
Combs is endorsed by the following: WV Appalachian Laborers’ District Council PAC, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Voluntary Fund, WV AFL-CIO, WV Education Association, United Mine Workers of America, Iron Workers Local Union #549, Marshal-Wetzel-Tyler Central Labor council, American Federation of Teachers – West Virginia, Building and Construction Trades, Communication Workers of America District Two, Painters District 53, Plumbers and Pipefitters UA Local 152, and WV School Service Personnel.
Combs resides in Doddridge county with his wife and two children.
The Tyler Star News sent each of the above-mentioned candidates a simple questionnaire. Kelly and Beaver responded.
Tyler Star News: What are some specific ideas you have for battling the opioid epidemic – stiffer punishment, rehabilitation possibilities? Be as specific as possible. Lay out a concrete plan.
David Kelly: Since 2015 the Republican led Legislature has worked diligently to combat the opioid epidemic in our state. I am looking forward to partnering with them to continue to advance the cause of battling this crisis. Education is vital. We have begun the process of education in our schools. In fact, under Republican leadership we have implemented a comprehensive drug awareness program for K through 12 students. I want to continue to work to even better educate our school age children.
Our Courts have been given tools to help those who are suffering from addiction. There are substance abuse facilities at the disposal of the court system that Judges can, and do, refer qualified people to. However, if they fail to complete the program then the original sentence is implemented. I look forward to working with others in Charleston in making the available options for treatment even better.
I want to work with the Legislature to get even stiffer punishment for those responsible for bringing drugs into our state. The Legislature has worked very hard to increase the penalties for suppliers of illicit drugs and I look forward to continuing to advance the cause.
J. Scott Beaver: The opioid epidemic is one of the largest problems facing West Virginia. It will take a many faceted attack to make an impact.
– Step up youth awareness programs in our schools, during youth activities and at home. Encourage ALL youth to be involved in activities where they can stay busy enjoying their hobbies and learning, and expose them to the anti-drug message during these times.
– Find alternatives to opioids in the medical practice. Get medical marijuana back on track. It was voted in by the people, and with 29 other states also legalizing it, I am sure we can find a suitable way to implement a good plan by studying what these other states have done.
– Shift the use of our drug fighting time, money and prison space to the prosecution of opioids, heroin and cocaine in any form and punish trafficking very harshly.
– Increase rehabilitation efforts for users.
– Of huge concern to me is the possibility of innocent children and others being poisoned by accidental contact with the many needles being found along our roads, paths, streams and in our parks. For this reason , and the possibility of slowing the spread of disease, I would also support a needle exchange program. If it saves one child it will be worth it.
TSN: What are three positive characteristics of the area you represent/would represent? In other words, what makes our area attractive?
DK: The number one characteristic of District 6 is the amazing people. They are great neighbors and friends.
– District 6 is the epicenter of the Oil and Gas boom. This benefits, not only our district, but the state of West Virginia.
– District 6 is blessed with great schools, as well as some of the most compassionate and caring educators in the state.
– In short, District 6 is a great place to live, work and play.
JSB: We have many positives in our area, the best of which are the people. But here I would like to talk about some positives, which improved upon could make a big difference in our area.
The Jug recreation area and Conaway Lake should be developed more and made as attractive as other parks found throughout our state.
The Ohio River could be a premier destination area with some work. All the communities along the river should work together to time various activities so that at anytime visitors could find two or three different types of activities to attend. Coordination between the towns is essential.
Natural gas development needs to be thought about in the long-term. Drilling and pipeline building is only temporary. We need to write our tax code to stimulate industrial growth here before we are too late and are taken advantage of again!
TSN: Describe your platform in three words.
JSB: FOR WEST VIRGINIANS