W.Va. Attorney Hopeful Reynolds Vows to Fight for Jobs
WHEELING — Doug Reynolds, Democratic candidate for West Virginia attorney general in November, says laws that cost West Virginians jobs need to be challenged, and he promises to fight these mandates if elected.
Reynolds spoke of his plans for the attorneys general’s office during a recent stop in Wheeling. Reynolds said as attorney general he would place his focus first on fighting the state’s prescription drug epidemic, and also on job creation and programs to benefit children.
“If I’m going to get involved with something, it’s going to be something that creates jobs in West Virginia,” he said. “Or I’m going get involved with something that’s going to help the drug problem, hold pharmaceutical companies responsible, create jobs and produce something that will make life better for our kids.”
Reynolds vowed to fight Environmental Protection Agency climate change rules that seek to reduce emissions from coal-fired power plants.
“If they cost us jobs, we have to challenge them — no matter who the administration is,” he said. “There’s going to be a new administration when I become attorney general. Whether it’s a Democrat or Republican administration, if it hurts jobs, I’m going to be against it.”
Reynolds, 40, is a lifelong resident of Huntington who has represented Cabell County in the West Virginia House of Delegates since 2007. He served as an assistant prosecutor in Cabell County for five years, but in recent years has held the job of CEO of Energy Services of America in Huntington.
The company provides construction services to the natural gas, oil, chemical and electric industry, and employs about 700 people.
Reynolds is married with four children under the age of 12.
He said the biggest problem with drug sentencing in the state is that punishments vary too much from county to county, and from judge to judge. Too often, judges aren’t differentiating between drug addicts and big-time drug dealers in their sentencing, according to Reynolds.
And 75-80 percent of the property crimes in Huntington, such as burglaries and thefts, are related to drug addiction, he estimated.
“Even somebody you didn’t originally know … you get into it, and you find out someone you’re prosecuting for embezzlement has a drug addiction,” Reynolds said. “You’ve got to figure out how you can deal with that person, and salvage their life — especially young people.
“If you take a young person, you could put a drug charge on them in such a way that it can’t be expunged and they don’t get a second chance. You could take someone’s life that could have been salvaged, and really see it go down the tubes.”