GREENBRIER COUNTY, WV (WVNS) — Candidates in Greenbrier County are pleading their case to the voters all month long ahead of West Virginia’s Primary election. With May 10, 2022, only weeks away, there is a lot for voters to consider.

Candidates in Greenbrier County shared their campaign priorities at a series of Meet the Candidates events across the region in an effort to let voters ask questions directly to candidates.

For County Commission candidates, Republican Blaine Phillips and Democrat DeEtta Hunter, the focus was on budget spending and the future of the Greenbrier County “Sportsplex.”

“I would not be able to support that project,” Hunter said. “It has taken, I honestly do not know how much, I would presume millions of dollars, and it is still a clay area where there is nothing there.”

“Currently there is no plan, no budget, and how a project of that size could be started without either is hard for me to conceive,” Phillips said.

The primary ballot for the State Senate and the House of Delegates is more competitive with multiple candidates set to face off on May 10, 2022. Issues on the ballot follow a similar theme to January’s legislative session with voters curious about the future of broadband access across the county and how hopeful legislators plan to prioritize tourism.

Another high-stakes issue on the ballot is foster care reform. As of April 2022, over 7,000 children are in the state’s foster care system with a shortage of parents and a lack of incentive to participate in foster care programs. A bill led by Senator Stephen Baldwin passed in the state legislature during this year’s legislative session, but despite broad support, never passed the finish line.

A majority of the candidates running for state seats believe there needs to be a broad change to the system to address underfunding and disorganization.

“We need child abuse hotline reform so that if you call with suspected abuse, that call is not filtered out, especially if you are a medical professional or law enforcement official,” Baldwin said. “That happened, five children died and we have got to make those changes.”

“Those children need a home where they have a caring adult,” Republican Senate Candidate, Vince Deeds, said. “An adult who can provide them a meal and a hug and a lot of love. We need to incentivize the foster care system so that it will be prosperous again.”

The final candidates for state races will be decided at the primary election. Candidates for county races are running unopposed and will face off in the November general election.