RealWV hosts House of Delegates District 46 candidates during second night of Greenbrier County Primary Debates

By Matthew Young, RealWV

LEWISBURG, W.Va. –  The RealWV, on Thursday, hosted the second of two scheduled Greenbrier County Primary Debates at the Lewis Theatre. The evening featured partisan candidates for the office of County Commissioner, Sheriff, and West Virginia House of Delegates Districts 46 and 47. 

NOTE: This article contains coverage of the House of Delegates District 46 forums. Click the links below for RealWV’s coverage of the District 47, County Commissioners, and County Sheriff’s forums.

In District 46, Lewisburg-based attorney Paul Detch is running unopposed in the Democratic primary. As he has no primary opponent, he alone shared the stage with, and answered questions from, the evening’s moderator, Lt. Col. (U.S. Army Retired) Scott Womack, Ed. D. 

“I believe that I have a unique history in that all of my undergraduate work was in political science and government,” Detch said, after Womack asked how he would approach the position of Delegate. “I’ve studied economics at the graduate level, particularly for state and local government. I then went to law school, and I have now been practicing law here in the great Greenbrier Valley for over 51 years.”

Womack then asked, “In what ways would you communicate with the voters as their delegate?”

“Newspapers are no longer succeeding in being able to reach the public,” Detch replied. “But we’ve still got to try to use those newspapers. We’ve got to use the areas that we have to educate the public as to what is going on.”

“One of the key roles that a minority has  is to inform the public of what is going on,” Detch continued. “And right now, we don’t have anybody in the legislature who tells us each night what the devil is going on. […] I plan on going out to meet the public. […] Paul Detch intends to show up and represent the public.”

When asked by Womack if he sees symbolic, non-practical legislation as problematic to West Virginia, Detch said, “Absolutely.”

“(Republican legislators) constantly want to be dragging up side issues so that people will be distracted,” Detch continued. “They want to talk about gender issues, and abortion issues, etc. While they’re doing that, they’re backing big corporations. Big corporations are taking away from the small towns. […] We’ve got to have somebody who realizes the Republican philosophy of big corporations is killing our small towns.”

Watch The RealWV’s Greenbrier County Partisan Candidate Primary Debate on our Facebook page, or by clicking the link below:

Moderator Lt. Col. (U.S. Army Retired) Scott Womack, Ed. D. (left) and House of Delegates District 46 candidate Thomas Perkins (right) during The RealWV’s Greenbrier County Primary Debate, April 11, at the Lewis Theatre in Lewisburg. Photo by Matthew Young, RealWV.

Thomas Perkins, owner/operator of multimedia outlet The Greenbrier Journal, has two challengers in the District 46 Republican Primary. However, as neither chose to participate in Thursday’s forum, Perkins, as with Detch, alone fielded Womack’s questions.

Womack began once more by asking Perkins how he would approach the position of Delegate.

“My job as Delegate will be to represent the people of my district – not to represent the people of Charleston or Morgantown,” Perkins replied. “To listen to and speak with the people of the community, and allow for people to contact and reach out to me, that’s what’s important. Their voice is what matters.”

“It’s about the people of this district, and working with them,” Perkins added.

Regarding how he would directly communicate with voters, Perkins said, “Social media is a great form of communication, but one of the biggest problems we have here in West Virginia today is broadband expansion. There are a lot of communities, especially in Pocahontas County, that currently do not have broadband access, so it’s a lot more difficult to communicate with them.”

“Being actively involved in the community,” Perkins continued, “Trying to attend community events and forums, things of that sort. […] I think it’s really important to actually communicate with voters, especially in those rural areas where they don’t have the broadband access.”

As for his top priority, Perkins told Womack that he hopes to target juvenile justice reform.

“As a child, I was in the state’s custody,” Perkins said. “One of the biggest issues that we have here in West Virginia is the fact that we’re basically shipping children – child trafficking, if you will – taking kids from one state and putting them in another state for liability purposes. We need to keep these kids in state.”

To learn more about Thomas Perkins, read The RealWV’s candidate profile at the link below:

The Real WV’s Greenbrier County Primary Candidate Debates were made possible through the sponsorship of Sunset Berry Farm, the Robert C. Byrd Clinic, Grist Real Estate Associates, the Rainelle Medical Center, and Wallace & Wallace Funeral Home. The RealWV would also like to thank Susan Syner and Mary Baldwin of the newly renovated Lewis Theatre for hosting both nights of the debates.

Primary Election Day in West Virginia is Tuesday, May 14. Early voting runs May 1 through May 11, excluding Sundays. Due to the ongoing construction project, the Greenbrier County Courthouse will not host early voting. The Romano Law Offices on Court Street in Lewisburg, and the Rupert Community Center on Nicholas Street in Rupert will serve as the county’s two early voting locations. Early voting hours at both locations are from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday. 


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