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: Tom Jarrell

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

PARTY: Democrat


HOME COUNTY: Wayne County

AGE: 66

EDUCATION: Ceredo-Kenova High, WV State Police Academy, Calgon Carbon Maintenance Mechanic Apprentice School (3 year program).


OTHER WORK HISTORY: Huntington Police Department, Calgon Carbon Corp

CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS: Fraternal Order of Police (past President), Ceredo Crescent Lodge #32, past member Ceredo Fire Department.

FAMILY: wife, Colleen Jarrell; daughters, Jessica Jarrell and Amanda Jarrell Buell.

PERSONAL STATEMENT: I am a blue collar middle class citizen with 39 years of union experience. I am running for office with the hope of representing the citizenry of Wayne County with a foundation and vision from a working class standpoint. Having endured the same struggles, experiences, and some successes of lifelong residency in WV, I feel I can be a better voice for the larger portion of the citizens in my county due to my economic class standing. Currently as a senior citizen, I have experienced the gambit of life’s offerings to serve as a foundation of the wisdom acquired.

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?

Notwithstanding the geography detriment in our state, resources should be directed to the existing parcels of industry which were one time viable, now standing vacant, to be put to good use. We have acreage that could be devoted to agriculture for crop production. Many areas of technology can be explored that does not depend on transportation decisions.

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

If in fact there are regulations that are “overkill” for the sake of regulatory control, then yes I could support those changes. However, changes in our regulations merely for a “profit” standpoint, I oppose. I would not trade profit for the overall health of our citizenry.

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

The role of state government should be to make our state as inviting and exciting as possible to attract and keep population. I see education as being one of the major issues that citizenry favors. Top educational possibilities from elementary through post secondary education can jumpstart economic development as has been proven in other states. This should be a priority.

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?

Children are the future of WV. Whatever action necessary to ensure children are fed, nurtured, educated, and protected should be without question a priority of state government, including the Governor.

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?

Business is profit driven. With documented records that reflect expense cutting and tax reduction increase profit, those increases very seldom if ever filter back to the citizenry. Tax increases for business are generally always passed to the consumer, as any tax, therefore I do not support tax breaks for business that in the end adds to the burden of our state citizens

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

No and no.

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

Without having current data for review, I could not adequately comment on the efforts. I would certainly support the position that if the effort is falling short of the demand, that is unacceptable.

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

Increase CTE / Stem education in all school districts. Develop/increase training in all construction crafts, agriculture, transportation equipment repair

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?

The opioid abuse epidemic must be addressed by more than the legislature. It appears that strengthening or developing more statue is a reactionary response. As well, the recovery/rehabilitate effort is in the same category. A major conjunctive effort of everyone from manufacturers, distributors, lawmakers, as well as the citizen must become proactive rather than reactive.

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

Utilize the many research facilities in our universities to create our own access as opposed to relying on the for profit entities.

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