Democrat David Sidiropolis is a candidate for the 4th District seat in the West Virginia House of Delegates.
Sidiropolis, 31, worked six years with the West Virginia Lottery Commission, including four as a special investigator. He concentrated primarily on regulation and enforcement at two of the five West Virginia casinos, working with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.
He currently acts as management of Sidiropolis Law in McMechen.
"I am seeking office in the West Virginia House of Delegates to make certain that the problems facing the residents of Marshall County are addressed by our state government," he said. "Unlike many politicians who rely upon empty rhetoric, my campaign will identify specific problems facing our communities and work hard to craft sound public policy to remedy those problems.
"One concern that is close to my heart is the silent pain that is inflicted upon many senior citizens as a result of the high cost of public utilities," he said. "West Virginia is rich with natural resources. There is no excuse for seniors to suffer while special interests influence appointments and decisions made by the Public Service Commission. Legislation that prohibits undue influence in the appointment of members to the Public Service Commission is necessary.
"West Virginia must guarantee adequate representation of consumers' interests on the Public Service Commission to reduce utility rates in West Virginia," he added. "Our seniors deserve relief in the form of an increased Homestead Exemption allowance. The cost of living has soared, property values have increased and our elders must be a top priority."
And West Virginia must take careful advantage of the revenue stream resulting from the Marcellus Shale natural gas extraction, he continued.
"Economic growth goes hand-in-hand with public safety," Sidiropolis said. "However, regulations should not be used to prohibit extraction of natural gas. Moreover, that does not mean that foreign companies have permission to expose our communities to health hazards or endanger the safety of their employees or any citizen of this great state. All those who are willing to work hard should have an opportunity to learn the skills necessary to obtain a good-paying job.
"In Marshall County and the surrounding area, career options are growing as a result of Marcellus Shale development," he noted. "High-paying administrative positions and a variety of office worker positions have become available and the labor demand will continue for new formed positions. Roustabouts, landsmen and other labor-intensive jobs will require new skills. The legislator must provide incentives to natural gas companies that hire West Virginians and promote public safety. Goal sharing and gain sharing programs work in business and will work as a model for public and private partnerships. Similarly, it is imperative that West Virginia's colleges offer training and education that adequately meet the demand for jobs created by natural gas excavation."