House of Delegates candidate Derek Hart submitted the following candidate statement:
"I am Derek Hart, your candidate for the West Virginia House of Delegates serving Barbour and part of Tucker counties.
"I graduated from Fairmont State and I have been working as a public servant for 13 years. My wife Megan is my number one supporter, and we have two wonderful children, Savanah Brooke, who is 11, and Logan, who is 10.
"I am a conservative and I stand for West Virginia's values and believe in individual rights. I believe in God, country and family. I believe that the number one priority for our state Legislature should be providing an economic climate that will bring good-paying jobs for every hard-working West Virginian.
"I believe our infrastructure, our roads, our bridges and utilities are in disrepair, and they need fixed, and Corridor H needs made a priority and needs finished. I believe that our children are our future and that they deserve a good education that prepares them to be a working part of our community. As your representative in Charleston, I will work day and night to make our community and our state a great place to live, to work and to raise a family. If you have any questions for me or would just like to talk, you can get ahold of me anytime.
"I stand for West Virginia's values and believe in individual rights. As your representative in Charleston, I will be your voice in our government. While working for you; I will protect your rights and freedoms, and I will not support any legislation that is unconstitutional or impedes your personal freedoms. We need a strong state government that is willing to stand for our personal rights as well as our states' rights. As your voice in Charleston I will send a clear message to Washington D.C. that 'Montani simper liberi' (Mountaineers are always free).
"I was born in Elkins on March 2, 1982. I am the son of Larry and Karen Hart. In 1985, my father joined the U.S. Army. I spent most of my childhood moving around from military base to military base. I graduated high school from Eisenhower High in Lawton, Okla., in May of 2000. In November of the same year I moved back to where I have always considered my home, West Virginia. Even though I moved around a lot growing up, I was raised with West Virginia's values and ethics.
"In 2010, I graduated from Fairmont State with an AAS degree in EMS. I am currently working as the assistant director and paramedic for Belington EMS. I have also been a volunteer firefighter with the Belington Fire Department since 2003. I am a member of the Barbour County Republican Executive Committee, endorsed by the West Virginia State Medical Association, and was the president of Students in Free Enterprise at Alderson Broaddus, where I also served as freshman class vice president, and sophomore class president.
"Family comes first and foremost. On July 14, 2012, I married Megan Rose Yocum. I am father of two wonderful children, Savanah Brooke Hart, 11, and (step) father of Logan Paul Bryant, 9. Both of these kids mean the world to me. I have three sisters and a brother. I also have numerous aunts and uncles whom have always felt more like mothers and fathers, and cousins who have always felt more like brothers and sisters. I have a very supportive and loving family. If it wasn't for these people I would not be the man that I am today.
"The number one priority for our state legislature should be providing an economic climate that will bring good-paying jobs for every hard working West Virginian. Good-paying jobs are leaving our state at an alarming rate, and in order to keep and increase these good-paying jobs we must reform our regulations, tax codes and legal system in order to be competitive against other states. I believe that we need a tax code that encourages good-paying jobs.
"I believe that we need to improve our legal system so that it is fair, prompt and predictable. I believe we need effective regulations that accomplish their purposes without deterring job creation. I believe that lawmakers should be informed about what effects every law will have on jobs in West Virginia. If elected, I will introduce legislation for tax reform that will eliminate taxes on manufacturing and inventory so that West Virginia will be competitive with other states who already have a growing economy. I will pass legislation that will limit non-economic damages, limit punitive damages, and will legislate for the nonpartisan elections of judges.
"I will work to provide every citizen and business in West Virginia with an automatic right of appeal, which currently we do not have. I will pass a law that will require any new regulations passed will contain a sunset clause, so that it must be revisited periodically to ensure that it still is accomplishing its original purpose, and I will eliminate unnecessary regulations that no longer accomplish their original purpose. I will pass legislation that will require a job impact analysis on every new law. If elected, I will work day and night to make West Virginia's laws, regulations, and legal system competitive against other states, and to bring high-paying, high quality jobs to the Mountain State.
"In order to end the cycle of failure effecting generations of West Virginians, and to provide our children a higher quality of life, we need to provide them with a quality education that will prepare them for 21st century jobs. I believe that in order to provide a quality education we need an education system that is financially responsible, that has effective teachers and is demand driven. I believe that our vocational centers, community colleges and universities should work with employers to provide an education in which there are actual jobs. While working for you I will pass legislation that will decrease the amount of money spent on state level administration so that more money actually reaches our schools, teachers and students, I will implement a strong teacher evaluation that will reward effective teachers, and I will support alternative certifications for math and science teachers so that our students may be taught by qualified energetic teacher. I will strongly support the Workforce Investment Board so that young adults can continue to receive vocational training. With these improvements we can prepare our children for the workforce and to have a higher quality of life.
"The future of our state depends upon the planning, development and completion of our infrastructure. Infrastructure gives us the ability to move products and people to areas of higher population this is crucial for the development of a growing economy. In order for our state to move forward we must first meet the needs of today's population and prepare for future development. Corridor H needs made a priority and needs finished. It is essential to the development of our economy. Besides roadways we need to improve our water and sewer system, airports, power system including electric lines, and broadband Internet access. Through development and planning we can create an infrastructure that will encourage and support economic development."