BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — The impacts of redistricting are starting to make their way into the 2022 elections.
New single-member delegate districts could create more direct competition in primary races and two candidates are looking to make big changes in the House of Delegates. Former Physician and Democratic Candidate Joseph Golden told 59News he wants to run for office to address the issues people are experiencing with inflation and cost of living.
“A lot of people are going to food banks because they do not have the money to get food, job insecurity is higher due to pandemic layoffs and then restarting and changes in the rules,” Golden said.
Democratic Candidate Christian Martine said he chose to run to focus on keeping younger people in the state. He said that starts with taking care of the Mountain State’s teachers.
“Young people are looking at the profession and saying they are not taking care of my teachers, they are not taking care of the people who just helped me cross the stage and graduate,” Martine said. “So, what are they going to do to help me 20-30 years down the road after I have served my community.”
Both candidates filed to run in the 45th district which spans from Beckley beginning at Woodrow Wilson High School to parts of Fayette County just south of Oak Hill. Golden and Martine both said they are running for office to address specific needs in the communities they reside in.
“It is a natural fit for me who has seen this both professionally and seen it just being a member of society,” Golden said. “To step in and talk to the people who are experiencing this, talk to the people who are their representatives.”
“This is not about me preaching about how you, as West Virginians, need to be represented this is about me understanding what your needs are, elevating your voice so that I can truly represent you,” Martine said.
Both candidates will face off in the Democratic Primary in May.