ELKINS - Ron Walters, Jr., a Republican candidate for the 2nd Congressional District in West Virginia, stopped by The Inter-Mountain recently to talk about his
"I enjoy visiting Randolph County," Walters said. "People here are hard-working and caring. It's always a pleasure to visit."
Walters is a small business man who runs an insurance and financial consulting company in Charleston with his father and brother, both of whom have chosen a life of public service. His father, Ron Walters Sr., is a longtime member of the West Virginia House of Delegates, and his brother Chris serves in the West Virginia Senate.
A lifelong West Virginia resident and proud Mountaineer, Walters graduated from West Virginia University and went on to earn his Master's degree in international management from the University of London-Royal Holloway.
"It really gave me a global perspective," Walters said when asked about his studies abroad. "I was in classes with students from all over the world. I was able to meet and learn from so many different people of diverse backgrounds."
Walters plans to put his business approach to work for West Virginia in Washington to help cut spending, control debt, create good paying jobs and protect taxpayers back home. Walters considers himself a conservative Republican "who believes firmly in God, family and country."
Walters said he supports the coal industry and wants to curb federal regulations that he says are hurting West Virginia.
"President Obama's 'war on coal' is a war on West Virginia's very economy," he says. "Holding up permits for mining and over-burdensome emissions regulations are strangling our coal industry and killing jobs in not only the coal industry, but the power industry and small business in coal communities. Natural gas producers and farmers have also been targeted. The bureaucracy promulgates these regulations with no regard to the economic impact. Stopping this will stimulate the West Virginia economy and create jobs."
Walters says he has grown up in West Virginia and wants "nothing more than to see (his) home state prosper.
"Our state is like no other, and we all share a wonderful heritage here," Walters said. "Growing up in West Virginia I learned very fast what it means to be a part of something special, to be proud of where I've come from, and to do the best work I could possibly do. I've been surrounded by people who won't stand for 'good enough,' people who tell you when you're wrong not because they want to see you fail, but because they want to see you succeed. Honesty and integrity are a part of every West Virginian's soul.
"West Virginians are hard workers, we always have been," he continued. "We want jobs and we want legislation that will bring businesses to our state, not drive them away. Our very own people, small business owners, face tough times because Washington wants to have a hand in every cookie jar; they want to regulate and tax every person and every business until there is nothing left to take. Our communities need less government, our communities deserve to benefit from a free market and the freedom to actually do their jobs."
Walters said he is 100 percent pro-life, an NRA member and staunch supporter of second amendment rights. Walters said he believes the country and the Mountain State need "meaningful tax reform" and supports "a simpler, more competitive and fairer tax system." Walters also said he wants to end the "brain drain" by making sure West Virginia college graduates can acquire jobs at companies within the state.
As "the only candidate in the race with a health insurance background," Walters believes what separates him from other candidates is his perspective and financial, insurance and international background.
"I believe in 'Wild and Wonderful, 'I believe in our people, and I believe in our God-given rights," Walters said. "West Virginia will not wait around for government to fix our problems, we will not listen to Obama and just 'hope' things 'change.' We will do what West Virginians before us did when they settled these mountains, and we will make our own way."