RealWV hosts House of Delegates District 47 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 47 forums. Click the links below for RealWV’s coverage of the District 46, County Commissioners, and County Sheriff’s forums.

Moderator, Lt. Col. (U.S. Army Retired) Scott Womack, Ed. D. (left) and House of Delegates District 47 candidate Roger Vannoy (right) on stage during RealWV’s Greenbrier County Primary Debate, April 11, at the Lewis Theatre in Lewisburg. Photo by Matthew Young, RealWV.

In District 47, Registered Nurse Roger Vannoy is seeking the Democratic nomination. As his primary opponent chose not to participate in Thursday’s forum, Vannoy alone shared the stage with, and answered questions from, the evening’s moderator, Lt. Col. (U.S. Army Retired) Scott Womack, Ed. D. 

To begin, Womack asked how Vannoy plans to navigate the pressures of party, lobbyists, and constituents when it comes time to cast his vote for a particular piece of legislation. 

“I’ve never been afraid to speak my own mind,” Vannoy replied. “I don’t always agree with my party. Sometimes they get on things, like recently with intelligent design, that I don’t necessarily agree with.”

“But I will also listen to my constituents when they call,” Vannoy added. “I will always take that into account.”

With regard to communication with voters, Vannoy said he’s “finding it a little difficult now while running.”

“We’ve had a couple town halls, and we’re going to have another one in Renick soon. I’ve had a few articles in the Mountain Messenger, so I’m trying that way too. […] I also have a Facebook and an Instagram page. If elected, [I plan] to do videos and talk about what’s been going on in the legislature that day.”

Womack then shifted the conversation to the concept of “term limits,” asking Vannoy, “Is there a certain number of terms that Delegates should serve, or should it just be as many as the voters want?”

“I don’t believe in term limits,” Vannoy said. “The voters decide – why would we take choice away from the voters? I believe in choice – choice in a lot of things. Voters decide who stays and who goes. If the voters don’t want them, they vote them out. That’s democracy, isn’t it? Why wou;d we take that away from our voters?”

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

On the Republican side of District 47, former Delegate George “Boogie” Ambler, and Aeronautics Professional Stephen Snyder are seeking the nomination. A third Republican primary challenger, Ray Canterbury, canceled his scheduled participation in the forum. 

Womack began by asking Ambler and Snyder the same question he previously asked Vannoy: “On any given bill, you will face a multitude of pressures from your party, your district, your caucus, and special interests. How will you navigate these pressures?”

Ambler was first to respond, saying, “I was down there as your Delegate from 2012 until 2018, and I experienced those pressures.”

“The people who send you down there – you, the constituents put me down there,” Ambler continued. “As the result of that, we listen to you.”

Snyder provided a similar response.

“I’m a person of my own mind, and I serve the people,” Snyder said. “That’s what this job is all about. Right is right, wrong is wrong, and special interests don’t call the shots. Political action committeess and lobbyists, I don’t want their money – I won’t take their money. This is about serving the people of West Virginia, and specifically the 47th District.”

Womack then shifted the conversation to the issues impacting the district, asking each candidate what their top priority would be if elected. 

“West Virginia’s tourism is the biggest issue we have in terms of driving money in,” Ambler responded. “We started drying up when the interstate finished out at Sam Black, and went on toward Beckley. The traffic left the western side of our county. We need to go back and bring those counties together, and invite the ‘West Virginia Hub’ idea. […] That would bring prosperity back to that side.”

Snyder was next to provide his answer, saying, “I’ve spoken with two folks that work at DHHR over the past two weeks, and the split in DHHR is not working very well. They can’t even help each other across boundaries right now. That simply isn’t working.”

“We need to be in touch with people out there on the street,” Snyder added. “Let them feed you information, because the people down on the ground level really know what’s going on.”

To learn more about Boogie Ambler and Stephen Snyder, read The RealWV’s candidate profiles at the links 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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