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The Exponent Telegram: Nick Casey the clear choice for Congress

— *** Newspaper Endorsements 2014 ***—

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — West Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District stretches across the state from the Ohio River to the Eastern Panhandle. It includes the state’s capital city, Charleston, as well as several counties in our region: Upshur, Lewis, Randolph, Braxton and Gilmer.

With such a diverse constituency, the 2nd Congressional District needs someone who understands West Virginia’s unique issues and equally unique blessings.

The Exponent Telegram believes Nick Casey is that person.

Casey, a Democrat from the Charleston area, knows the Mountain State because it is his home.

He grew up in Kanawha County and has a law degree from West Virginia University. He also is a certified public accountant.

That background will help Casey represent West Virginia, as well as help Congress as it battles to overcome partisanship to fix what ails this great country.

Casey is a Democrat, but he doesn’t fall hook, line and sinker for the party line.

Instead, he has demonstrated the ability to think on his own and seems poised to provide a strong voice for the 2nd District and the Mountain State.

In an interview with Exponent Telegram Staff Writer Melissa Toothman, Casey said he wants to see the nation have an energy policy that is all-inclusive.

“We’ve got this whole array of energy right here … and what we don’t have is anything that gives us — not a regulation, but a provision — a policy vision of how to fit all that stuff together,” Casey said.

“We really need a policy, an energy policy, for the country that looks at all these resources.”

Casey also supports efforts to reduce restrictions that he believes hinder small and big businesses. He also wants to fix the tax code so companies don’t have incentives to send jobs overseas.

And while he sees positives with the Affordable Care Act, he also knows it has problems that are hindering business development in West Virginia.

He cited the provisions covering those with pre-existing conditions, as well as efforts to get more people insured, as positive aspects, while the flaws include the provision that calls a 30-hour work week full time.

“Nobody considers 30 hours a week to be full-time,” he said. “That 30 hours — I don’t know where they got it, but it doesn’t match up with my office and what people actually work. People actually work 40-hour weeks, 37.5-hour weeks. So that needs to be fixed,” Casey said.

As for Casey’s challenger, Republican Alex Mooney, we see some policies that have merit.

But we also see statements like, “I will vote against every attempt to raise taxes,” and have to wonder how he already knows how he plans to vote without at least listening to the proposal.

We also were disappointed that Mooney failed to respond to several efforts by this newspaper to learn more about his campaign.

And while there have been plenty of out-of-state candidates who have moved into a state and then won election to public office — as Mooney, a former Maryland state legislator is attempting — we find it less than likely that he knows West Virginia’s 2nd District well enough to serve it, considering he’s lived in the state for less than two years.

Casey is a clear choice to represent the 2nd District and West Virginia in Washington.

Follow The Exponent Telegram’s endorsements and news coverage at http://www.theet.com/

Editor’s Note: The West Virginia Press Association is compiling political endorsements offered by its member newspapers to give readers a statewide view. For more endorsements, visit https://wvpress.wpengine.com/opinion/endorsementweek2014/

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