Three Seek Two Seats in House District 4
MOUNDSVILLE – Three candidates seek the two seats up for grabs to represent House of Delegates District 4, representing Marshall and part of Ohio counties.
Incumbent Lisa Zukoff, a Democrat, is joined on the ballot by fellow Democrat Christian Turak and Republican Charlie Reynolds. The two candidates with the most votes win the seats.
* Zukoff has served one term in the House, first being elected in 2018. She seeks re-election to the seat, having spent her first term making strong connections to accomplish her job effectively, she said.
“It was very enlightening and a good experience,” she said. “I think we all think we understand how the process works, but when you get down there and you realize the committee structures and the politics, being able to work across the aisle to get things accomplished, it’s a little more involved than I thought it would be. What we learn about and what we see from the outside … it seems really easy to see how a bill becomes a law, but it’s very different in practice.”
Zukoff compared the legislative process to football — the difficult part is getting past the 40-yard line, she said.
“No matter where your political views are in Charleston, … the relationships, like everything else in life, really make the difference. It’s not about being a D or R, but about what’s important to them.”
Zukoff, 58, lives in Marshall County near Moundsville with her husband. She has two gown children and is a graduate of John Marshall High School and West Virginia University with a degree in political science.
* Turak has served as an oil and gas attorney with Moundsville-based Gold, Khourey and Turak for years, and wishes to bring that experience into the field of politics.
“For the last six, seven years now, I’ve seen the millions of dollars these companies are pumping into our community, all the investments they’re making, and obviously we’re generating a lot of severance tax money. But of all that money, I don’t see a lot of it coming back to our community, and I don’t think we’re getting our fair share,” he said. “There’s a lot of opportunity here, and that’s why I’m running, because I’ve seen it firsthand.”
Turak said his experience will translate well across careers.
“What I do every day is represent landowners and mineral rights owners against the interests of multi-billion (dollar), multinational corporations that are doing business in our community,” he added. “If I can face off against them, I’m sure I can face off against Charleston. We need someone who’s not going to be intimidated, to push for change.”
Turak, 34, and his wife Maggie have two daughters, Stella and Scarlet. He graduated cum laude from New York University Law School in 2011, and he obtained his undergraduate degree from George Washington University in 2008.
* Reynolds said he had always wanted to run for office, and that if elected, he would give a voice to Marshall County. In particular, Reynolds said he would fight to bring more jobs to Marshall County residents, and to make road maintenance and expansion of broadband Internet service a priority.
“Not bandage fixes,” he said. “We waste a lot of money on bad roads. And in today’s world we need roads that can handle heavy weight limits. Roads need (to be) ditched for water runoff. … Without good roads and broadband, businesses won’t come. You have to seek out businesses and sell what West Virginia has to offer.”
Reynolds resides in Moundsville with his family, and currently works as a railroad terminal manager. He graduated from John Marshall High School.