BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — With election day coming up on November 8, 2022, many voters have questions about their candidates’ stances on the issues.

Beckley Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce hosted “Meet the Candidates,” an event that happens every election, at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center on Thursday, October 20, 2022.

One member of the Legislature, who is not up for re-election, attended the event. Delegate Brandon Steele (R-Raleigh) of District 42, voiced support for “Amendment Two.” The amendment is not related to firearms but would give the legislature permission to change state tax code.

Lawmakers said the amendment will eliminate property taxes paid on the county level and allow legislators to send tax dollars to each county.

“If you look at the work we’ve done, over the last four years of the Legislature, we’ve been a great partner to the counties of maintaining their health insurance, maintaining the costs of the jails and maintaining their essential services, I think you’ll find we’ve been a great partner in that,” said Steele,

Candidates at the event voiced both support and opposition to the amendment. Raleigh County Commissioner Greg Duckworth publicly opposed Amendment Two, as he said the amendment takes county tax dollars from local control and could impact county services if lawmakers would fail to provide an appropriate amount of funding.

Candidates said amendments on the ballot are an important area of focus.

The effects of the opioid epidemic on the state’s workforce, schools, and jail system was a strong theme, along with the need for infrastructure improvements and legislative support for educators.

“We have a workforce that is leaving our state,” said Christian Martine, a candidate who participated. “And when I ask the businesses what they need to come to West Virginia, it’s they need to make sure our young people and our workers are given the skills for the jobs that want to come here.”

The event was styled as a debate, veering from previous meetings when each candidate answered a question. During the event, every candidate, and their opponent, fielded the same question from a panel of local media.

The Chamber hosts this event each election so voters go to the polls with more knowledge about their candidates and the issues, according to organizers.

“The candidates did a really great job about sharing their positions, not only on the Amendments but on what West Virginia needs and what southern West Virginia needs, so I’m just excited to give the community the opportunity to come out and hear from all of the candidates,” noted BRC Chamber CEO Michelle Rotellini, following “Meet the Candidates.