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NAME: Mark Dean
CANDIDATE FOR: W.Va. House of Delegates District 34 (southern Mingo County)
HOME CITY: Gilbert
HOME COUNTY: Mingo
EDUCATION: Gilbert HS 1999, Concord College 2003, Marshall University 2005.
CURRENT OFFICE OR OCCUPATION: Village Caregiving, Southern WV Executive Director.
OTHER WORK HISTORY: Mingo County Schools for 17+ years, 15 years as a school administrator.
ENDORSEMENTS: WV for Life, NRA, UMWA, WVEA, AFT, Affiliated Trades Construction.
FAMILY: wife, Brandy.
PERSONAL STATEMENT: It has been the honor of my life to serve the people of the 21st district (Now 34th district) for the past 6 years. I’ve worked hard to make sure our conservative values where represented at the Capitol. As the chair of the Select Committee on Coal Communities, I’m fighting to bring funding and new jobs to our area. We’ve accomplished a lot during my 3 terms, but we have a lot of work left to do. I hope I’ve done enough to earn you vote again!
1. Do you agree with the Legislature's recent action to allow nuclear power plants in West Virginia, and why or why not?
Diversifying our economy is a must. With the war on coal and coal powered plants, the nuclear companies come in when plants are shut down. This allows us to keep good paying jobs in the energy producing communities.
2. What is your stance on the full legalization of recreational cannabis?
I would support full legalization of recreational cannabis, but we need to get the medical program fully up and running to iron out the wrinkles. Legalization would take money out of the black market and introduce that money into our economy.
3. What should be done to diversify the state's economy and prevent population loss?
We need to invite companies in that allow us to be producers of products made from our local natural resources. We need to ramp up the tourism industry as well.
4. The state’s foster care system struggles to care for the thousands of children who are now in it. What further action do you think might be necessary?
Great strides have been made in the foster care system. We continue to study and find solutions that give these vulnerable children the best experience possible.
5. How can West Virginia attract and keep qualified educators?
Teachers perform the one of the most valuable public services we have available. We need to support our educators with competitive pay. Teachers need more freedom to teach! We have some of the best teachers in the world being forced to use cookie cutter program.
6. Do you support amending state law to provide anti-discrimination protections for West Virginia's LGBTQ community?
The state needs to stay out of private business. If you feel a business is discriminating against you for any reason, you are free to go somewhere else.
7. How would you describe efforts so far to add more support staff in the state’s schools to help children in troubled homes?
We need to use all available resources to reach kids emotional and physical needs. Early intervention is vital!
8. What can the state government do to improve workforce development in West Virginia?
During this session, we saw several announcements of jobs coming to different parts of WV. To be able to compete, we need site ready locations for them to come to. We have to be willing to offer incentives, such as tax breaks, to get them here.
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 legislature needs to invest in proven treatment models. We need to diversify what models can receive funding. No addiction is the same and the same goes for recovery.
10. Who is more qualified to handle education policy issues, legislators or county board of education members?
Local boards and individual schools are more equipped to be able to meet the needs of their students. However, every state level department has to submit their rules for approval, except the Department of Education. This needs to change for uniformity and fairness’s sake.