Randy Yohe Published

7th Senate District Race Preview – Stuart Vs. Stollings

Empty voting booths are seen in Flint, Michigan at the Berston Fieldhouse polling place.

The contested race for the newly formed 7th senate district seat pits a veteran legislator against a well known newcomer.

Former federal prosecutor Mike Stuart was State Republican Party Chair and 2016 West Virginia Trump Campaign Co-chair. He said his opponent doesn’t reflect the values of their Boone, Lincoln, Logan and Kanawha county constituents.

“We’re a conservative district and people who value pro-life, they want lower taxes, they value freedom, they value the right to own and bear firearms,” Stuart said. “These are tenants that my people hold dear, and the candidate (that) has been there for16 years is far from that record.”

Adult Medical Specialist Dr. Ron Stollings, D-Boone, said he’s religious, endorsed by the NRA, and pro-life, but the state abortion bill went too far. The 16 year senator said transitioning from a coal economy requires dedicated funding.

“Getting more coal severance tax back to the county of origin, getting a tax credit if you locate a business on a post mine land site.Those are things that can now go through fruition, because we now have the bipartisan infrastructure plan that is made for places like my district, highly impacted coal areas,” Stollings said.

Stuart said he’ll fight for parents who need to commit their children to involuntary, long- term treatment for opioid dependence. He favors capital punishment for drug dealers.

“I support the death penalty,” Stuart said. “If you’re killing cops, if you’re carrying enough drugs, I support the death penalty for that.”

Stollings said public education needs a major overhaul and a return to funding for support programs.

“We have treated public education like it was a piece of gum on your shoe,” Stollings said. “We cut DHHR some $600 million, so those programs that help these disadvantaged kids, it’s coming back now to roost.”

Stuart said the state’s infrastructure has improved, but secondary roads in his 7th District remain deplorable.

“If that road in Tornado isn’t fixed, or that road in Harts Creek isn’t fixed, I’m going to be the guy standing there with social media saying, ‘Hey, get out here and fix this thing,’” Stuart said.

Stollings said diversifying the economy requires keeping promises like developing infrastructure along Corridor G

“The plan 25 years ago was to get infrastructure along U.S. Route 119,” Stollings said. “Particularly if you have these post-mine land sites that are now ready to be developed.”

Mike Stuart said he’s a street fighter with a sense of urgency.

Ron Stollings said far right MAGA people will cut taxes on the rich and cut services on the poor.

Senate 7th District voters will decide who will represent them next Tuesday.