Born in Beckley, I was raised in Oak Hill, graduated from Oak Hill High School, and I still reside in Oak Hill, where I recently started an insurance agency with my father (Haynes Insurance). I was first elected to the House of Delegates in 2020.
Throughout the past two legislative sessions, I have been fortunate to help achieve a lot for our area and the state altogether. Fayette County has a large tourism sector. I have fought and achieved the goal of keeping funding for our Convention and Visitors Bureaus at the same level it has been. In fact, I have supported efforts to increase the percentage that CVBs receive from the hotel/motel tax. Additionally, I have a strong, working relationship with the Department of Tourism, and I was able to use that to secure funding for upgrades to Hawks Nest State Park and to provide more amenities around the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve.
Tax reform is very important to the future of West Virginia. I have supported legislation that reduces or eliminates the pop tax, income tax, etc. I will always support lower taxes.
A focus of the past two years has been to improve the education system. Everyone talks about local control in education, but a lot of the same people want the government to decide where your child can go to school. The taxpayers pay a lot of money and they should be able to use their tax dollars to send their child where they see fit. It doesn’t get more local than a parent making an educational decision for their children. In addition, I have voted to protect the public employee grievance process, require an assistant teacher in first and second grade classrooms, ensure that third grade students are competent in reading and math before moving on to fourth grade, resolve the bus driver shortage by allowing retired bus operators to work in areas of critical need, create a Jumpstart savings account for students at a trade school to fund equipment and the tools necessary once they receive their certification, allow colleges to provide courses on campus to high school seniors that are accelerated that would count toward their high school diploma and freshman year classes, require video cameras in special education classrooms to protect the most vulnerable students, allow parents and guardians to inspect materials being taught to students, and ensure that certain history and civics courses are taught in school so our youth knows the history of our country. Finally, I supported legislation that would preserve planning periods for teachers and provide more personal days for them to use without presenting an excuse.
It is no secret that many people struggle to afford medication and medical treatment. I have supported legislation that would cap the copay on insulin, and I have supported legislation that reduces the costs of prescription drugs, in general.
A concern for businesses and employees going forward is the lack of access to childcare. I supported legislation to provide a tax credit for businesses that make childcare available for their employees. This will allow parents to work without fear of not finding someone to take care of their child and possibly have to give up a job.
I am pro-life (endorsed by West Virginians for Life), pro-Second Amendment (A rating from the NRA), pro-business (endorsed by the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Business and Industry Council, Contractors Association, Associated Builders and Contractors, Community Bankers Association, etc.), pro-farmer (endorsed by the West Virginia Farm Bureau), pro-coal, oil, and gas, and pro-West Virginia. Before every vote that is cast, I ask myself one question: does this help grow West Virginia and Fayette County? The answer to that question informs my vote.
It has been a true honor and privilege to represent the great people of the 32nd District. I take this position very seriously and have tried to make a difference for all that call West Virginia home. Thank you for the opportunity! I humbly ask for your vote to continue serving in the newly-created 50th District (Oak Hill, Route 61, Smithers, Cannelton, Boomer, Belva, Dixie, Layland, Thurmond, Redstar, Meadow Bridge) to go back to Charleston so we can continue making West Virginia the best place to live, work, and raise a family.