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Group praises WV lawmakers for conservative performance


The Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Cabell County state Dels. Carol Miller, Kelli Sobonya and Chuck Romine, along with other West Virginia Republicans, will be honored later this month by the American Conservative Union Foundation (ACUF) for their conservative values.

Cabell County state delegates Carol Miller, from left, Kelli Sobonya and Chuck Romine will be honored this month by the American Conservative Union Foundation.

The ACUF released its ratings Wednesday for the 2017 meeting of the West Virginia Legislature. These ratings, a portion of the comprehensive and nationwide ratings released by the ACUF, are designed to reflect how elected officials view the role of government and are helpful in illustrating how both chambers of the Legislature as well as individual members prioritize a variety of issue areas that directly affect West Virginians.

The ACUF reviewed each piece of legislation voted on in both the Senate and House of Delegates to produce average scores for each chamber as well as individual scores for each sitting member.

Those members who scored 80 percent or higher will be presented an award in Charleston on Wednesday, Sept. 20. The award presentation will kick off ACUF’s West Virginia On the Rise policy forum, which will feature speakers including U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions; Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va.; West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, and numerous other voices in the conservative movement.

Miller and Sobonya were two of 18 House members to receive the award for conservative excellence after voting 90 to 100 percent for conservative measures. Romine is among 32 House members to receive the award for conservative achievement for voting 80 to 90 percent of the time for conservative measures.

Sen. Mark Maynard will receive an achievement award as well.

Several Mercer County representatives also will be receiving awards, including Del. Joe Ellington and Del. Marty Gearheart in the excellence category and Sen. Chandler Swope and Del. John Shott in the achievement category.

Other area representatives to reach 80 percent or more are Putnam County Del. Joshua Higginbotham and Wyoming County Sen. Sue Cline and Del. Tony Paynter.

The Senate as a whole had a 68 percent average and the House a 66 percent average. The scores in both chambers increased from last year’s ratings, suggesting that the legislative body is voting in a more conservative fashion.

There were no lawmakers labeled “radical left” by the group.

Among Democrats, Sen. Bob Plymale of Wayne and Sen. Mike Woelfel of Cabell were the highest-scoring Democrats in the Senate, and Del. Andrew Byrd of Kanawha was the top House Democrat, according to the foundation’s scoring of their votes.

Follow reporter Taylor Stuck on Twitter and Facebook @TaylorStuckHD.

Award for Conservative Excellence:


Patricia Rucker


Saira Blair, Jim Butler, Frank Deem, Joe Ellington, Tom Fast, Geoff Foster, Nancy Foster, Marty Gearheart, Danny Hamrick, Jason Harshbarger, Jordan Hill, Eric Householder, Gary Howell, Kayla Kessinger, Patrick Martin, Carol Miller, John Overington, Kelli Sobonya, S. Marshall Wilson

Award for Conservative Achievement:


Mike Azinger, Craig Blair, Donna Boley, Greg Boso, Mitch Carmichael, Charles Clements, Sue Cline, Ryan Ferns, Ed Gaunch, Kenny Mann, Mike Maroney, Mike Maynard, Randy Smith, Chandler Swope, Tom Takubo, Charles Trump


George Ambler, William Anderson, Tim Armstead, Lynne Arvon, Martin Atkinson, Moore Capito, Roy Cooper, Daryl Cowles, Vernon Criss, Paul Espinosa, Cindy Frich, Roger Hanshaw, Joshua Higginbotham, Ray Hollen, John Kelly, Zach Maynard, Pat McGeehan, Riley Moore, Eric Nelson, John O’Neal, Tony Paynter, Ben Queen, Chuck Romine, William Romine, Ruth Rowan, John Shott, Joe Statler, Amy Summers, Terri Sypolt, Jill Upson, Ron Walters, Steve Westfall

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