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WV Gov. Justice appoints Foster’s replacement to House


Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia governor appointed an auditor from Cross Lanes to fill a vacant seat in the House of Delegates on Tuesday.

Dianna Graves will take over the Putnam County seat vacated by Nancy Foster.

Dianna Graves will take over the Putnam County seat vacated by Nancy Foster, who resigned Sept. 1. Graves currently works as an auditor for Suttle & Stalnaker, an accounting firm in Charleston.

Graves, a Republican, said she considers herself a moderate and thinks West Virginia needs to embrace compromise to break from its recent malaise.

“I’ve always been interested in public service, in this particular instance for the House seat, I’m really interested in moving the agenda forward for West Virginia,” she said. “I feel like we get a little lost in bickering back and forth, everyone trying to get their way and no compromise whatsoever. I’d really like to see this state move forward and prosper, and I think I might be able to help with that.”

Born in Texas, Graves moved around frequently, graduating high school in Kansas and college with a political science degree from Stanford University in California. She moved to her current home in Cross Lanes in 2005. She has run unsuccessful campaigns in the past for Kanawha County magistrate.

Graves said she hopes to use her skill set in budget and revenue discussions during the legislative session, but said public education in the state will be a focus of hers as well. She said after hearing Gov. Jim Justice speak about the importance of education in getting West Virginia on the right track, she was inspired to help.

“Education is going to be something that I’m focused on, I think we need to pay our teachers more, as a starting point,” she said.

Though she knows the Legislature will have its hands full with potential budget shortfalls and inter-party warfare, Graves said she’s not daunted by the challenge.

“I’ve never shied away from looking into an issue and stating my opinion,” she said.

Her new seat spans Putnam and Kanawha counties. Foster won the seat in the 2016 election, but she resigned earlier this month, saying she wanted to spend more time with her family.

Reach Jake Zuckerman at [email protected], 304-348-4814 or follow @jake_zuckerman on Twitter.

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