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WV House of Delegates, Senate Candidates Address Public at WVU Forum

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West Virginia University's Mountainlair was the scene of a political platform on Wednesday night, as students and community members got to know some local candidates.

"I am here to see what the current batch of candidates have to offer from our district and be able to ask them questions I'm concerned about," said Dr. Bill Talkington, a Monongalia County resident.

So on Wednesday night, more than a dozen candidates running for the West Virginia House of Delegates and state senate took the stage and addressed the public.

The candidates included Bob Beach, Larry Edgell, Barbara Fleischauer, Nancy Jamison, Brian Kurcaba, Kent Leonhardt, Charlene Marshall, Edward Olesh, Amanda Pasdon, Marti Shamberger, Joe Statler, Stanley Shaver, Kris Warner and John Williams.

Anthony Barill was unable to attend due to an illness but sent a representative to issue a statement.

The forum, which was sponsored by West Virginia University's student newspaper, The Daily Athenaeum, served as the capstone project of some political science students, including Summer Ratcliff, who said it's a great opportunity for the voters.

"I think it's a really good opportunity to really ask candid questions because a lot of times, the candidates know exactly what they want to say, and they have predetermined platforms they're working on and really trying to push, so when you ask them something that they might not particularly be prepped for, it really gets more honest answers," said Ratcliff

The candidates each had 30 seconds to introduce themselves, then hit the ground running.

Students were hoping to hear about a variety of topics, ranging from concerns in our state to hotly contested national issues.

"...Whenever it comes to things like tenant rights, asking about really important questions, like their stance on West Virginia and coal..." said student Farah Famouri.

"What would you do to expand the rights of those who would look to have same-sex marriage?" said Talkington.

"It's a little bit irresponsible to just go the polls and choose a random person based off of just, maybe, a couple of facts you know about them. If you're passionate about an issue, and you really want to know what the candidates positions are, this is the perfect place," said Famouri.

The primary election will be held Tuesday, May 13, but early voters can begin casting their votes on April 30.

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