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HD Media is running submitted questionnaires from candidates in the 2020 elections.

Read more responses from candidates by clicking on the links at right. Candidates who have not received a questionnaire can send an email to acopley@HDMediaLLC.com with their name, candidacy and phone number.

NAME: Derrick Evans

CANDIDATE FOR: W.Va. House of Delegates District 19 (part of Wayne County)

PARTY: Republican

CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: www.facebook.com/DerrickEvansTheActivist

HOME CITY: Prichard

HOME COUNTY: Wayne County

AGE: 34

EDUCATION: Bachelor’s Degree, West Liberty University

CURRENT OFFICE OR OCCUPATION: Real Estate Investor & Property Manager

OTHER WORK HISTORY: I previously worked for the WCBOE as a teacher.

CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS: NRA, GOA, WVCDL, Wayne County Farmers Co-Op, WV Farm Bureau, Tri-State Landlord Association

ENDORSEMENTS: iVote America (Next Generation of Conservatives), West Virginians For Life, Family Policy Council of WV, Young Americans for Liberty. 

FAMILY: Wife, Melissa Evans; children, Marlee (4), Emmalynn (3), Waylen (5 months); grandparents, JD and Myrtie Prince.

PERSONAL STATEMENT: I am pro God, pro life, pro 2nd Amendment, and I am going to fight for Christian values! I'm married to my college sweetheart. We have been together for over eleven years. God has blessed us with three beautiful children, and they are the main reason I am running for this position. I hope to create a future where my children can live and prosper right here in Wayne County, WV for as long as they choose.

Questions from the West Virginia League of Women Voters:

1. With the decline in the extraction industries in West Virginia, what do you think should be done to diversify the state’s economy?

Manufacturing jobs pay enough to raise a family, and we have skilled workers to fill those jobs. We need to use our natural energy sources to our advantage. We should focus on attracting downstream chemical and manufacturing opportunities that would benefit from our natural gas. We need the Appalachian Storage and Trading Hub, once again utilizing our natural gas industry.

2. Do you support recent weakening of EPA regulations concerning air and water quality? Why or why not?

Yes. The Obama era EPA regulations were over the top and completely crushed our coal industry. Regulations must be in place, but they should not have the intentions of killing our natural energy extraction. Requiring a coal mine to have cleaner water than what comes out of my kitchen sink is crazy.

3. What role do you see for state government in reversing West Virginia’s population decline?

Our people are not leaving because they want to. They are leaving in search of work. WV is a great place to live and raise a family. The role of the government should be focused on fostering a business-friendly environment that will attract businesses to move here. We must actively recruit businesses and sell the benefits of re-locating to WV.

Additional questions from The Herald-Dispatch:

4. The state’s foster care system struggles to care for the 7,000 plus children who are now in it. Some action has been taken in recent months, but what further action do you think might be necessary?

This needs to be a priority. DHHR workers are underpaid, understaffed, and over worked. They are doing the best they can with the limited resources they are given. We need to study our foster care system and use that information for a complete overhaul. We need to meet with and listen to the people who are involved with the system.

5. There have been several attempts to reduce taxes on business in the state, including one failed in this past legislative session. Is it wise to keep pursuing tax breaks for business, at the possible expense of residential taxpayers? Do you think the state’s tax structure needs an overhaul?

We need elected officials who are fiscally responsible. I think taxes need to be lower for everyone. I signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge stating I will oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes. Tax and spend is not the answer. Let’s cut taxes and put more money back in to the pockets of the people.

6. Do you think the educational reform bill passed in 2019 is working/will be effective?

I think it is to early to know whether it is working or not. My mother was a teacher, and I am a former teacher. We have excellent people in our Wayne County school system who love and do all they can for our children. I will always support our teachers and school service personnel.

7. How would you describe efforts so far to add more support staff in the state’s schools to help children in troubled homes?

I think we have taken a step in the right direction. As a former teacher, I can tell you this is a bigger issue than most people realize. The drug epidemic has left a lot of our youth living in a bad home environment. The people who work in our school system are on the front lines of this situation.

8. What can the state government do to improve workforce development in West Virginia?

I think our workforce development is pretty good here in WV. WCBOE does a good job with our trades and STEM programs. The problem we are facing is that our people are forced to leave in order to find employment. We are developing a workforce, but we aren’t developing jobs for our people.

9. West Virginia has been especially hard hit by the opioid abuse epidemic. What do you see as the role of the legislature in addressing this crisis?

First and foremost, it’s past time for harsher penalties, and possibly minimum sentencing. Anyone caught dealing drugs in WV should be charged with attempted murder. Our system is broken. Our police officers put their lives in danger to arrest these rogues and they are back on the street within 2-3 days. Lock them up and throw away the key.

10. How would you improve the state’s access to broadband internet?

It’s unbelievable that this is still an issue in the year 2020. Half of Wayne County still doesn’t have cell phone service or reliable internet. This is beyond comprehension. Reliable internet is a requirement for every business. We need to stop kicking the can down the road and make it a priority.

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