WEIRTON — A current multi-term member of the House of Delegates is facing a challenge from a local lawyer in the upcoming Nov. 8 election.
Republican Del. Pat McGeehan is taking on Democrat Jack Wood for the single seat to represent the newly redesigned House First District, which includes all of Hancock County’s unincorporated areas, as well as the municipalities of Chester and New Cumberland and much of the is Weirton.
McGeehan, who is also a program coordinator at an alternative school for orphans and foster children, as well as the author of several books as a retired US Air Force captain who served as an intelligence officer with tours in Afghanistan and in the Middle-East.
He says lawmakers need to focus on the state’s tax structure and spending, as well as improving West Virginia’s infrastructure.
“I believe the government should live within its means, just like our families do,” he said. “We need to prevent wasteful spending, we need to try to give tax breaks to people in our big house, and we need to finally update our roads and infrastructure…especially our secondary roads…which are still in a terrible state. . ”
Keeping an eye on infrastructure, McGeehan sponsored House Bill 4566, which he says will require the state to set aside $250 million over the coming year “to be used strictly to improve local streets in the city, to repave secondary roads in our community, and to revitalize local sewer and water supply infrastructure.
Tax relief, along with tackling over-regulation, McGeehan says, are among the pillars needed to encourage the state’s economic development.
“We need to provide tax relief to the average guy and girl in our community. We should also strive to keep taxes lower and regulations reasonable, to prevent government from becoming a barrier to capital investment,” he said. “Consistent with this, we must be aware that the preservation of a stable environment that upholds the rule of law – an environment that ensures law and order – is helpful in providing a system of fair and predictable rules in the marketplace. Such stability can become very attractive in these somewhat chaotic times in the rest of the country.”
McGeehan is a graduate of the US Air Force Academy, holds a Bachelor of Science in History and General Engineering, a Master of Arts in Philosophy from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, and a Ph.D. philosophy student at Duquesne University.
He is a practicing Roman Catholic and life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
“I’ve always believed that principles should come first,” McGeehan said. “So my goal has always been to relentlessly pursue truth and justice, and the values that constitute the traditional American way. Many politicians have lost sight of these great values that our ancestors have passed down to us, and this has contributed to corrupting many residents of our state capital into choosing the right path.
“Instead of serving the people of our state, many politicians are simply serving themselves,” he added. “Part of my goal has been to try to provide a check against this corrupt state of affairs and to try to serve as a bulwark against those who would use the power granted to them for less than noble reasons. it’s not about pushing my own goals – sometimes it’s more about stopping bad policies that would damage our home and hurt our loved ones We live in very volatile times – and for that reason it becomes all the more more important to understand history in order to realize that, unfortunately, we can see very hard and dangerous times on the horizon ahead of us.
Wood is a graduate of Weir High School, West Virginia University and the University of Tulsa College of Law. He has been a licensed attorney since 1996, a court-appointed attorney in Hancock, Brooke, and Ohio counties, and an assistant district attorney in Hancock County. Since March 2021, he has been a solo attorney, focusing primarily on criminal defense and related civil rights issues, and assisting with the operations of the Weirton Plaza Theater. He is also active with Community Bread Basket.
As a lawmaker, Wood said he would strive to pursue creativity rather than trying to “revive” past efforts, especially in job creation.
“Several small economic successes are just as valuable as an individual Big Boom,” Wood said. “Reward West Virginia with opportunities. Manufacturing must return to the state, whether on a smaller or larger scale, and the state should provide pathways for this development rather than roadblocks.
Wood offered his preference for the 5A alternative for the Route 2 project in New Cumberland, saying that while it costs more in the short term, it makes more sense in the long term than the state’s current plan.
He also sees a need for investment, overall, in state roads.
“Slips are more and more frequent with each rain. Roads need to be studied to improve their durability and safety and those improvements need to be made, not just discussed,” Wood said, noting that preservation plans are needed to ensure the structural integrity of roads and water supplies. water, especially as oil and gas activity expands. in West Virginia.
Wood says there is a need to focus on restoring and preserving women’s choice, protecting West Virginia workers through fair pay and safety regulations, and the need to increase and expand public education opportunities for West Virginians.
“Without more representatives in contact, our region will continue to lose population, continue to falter in education, and remain at or near the bottom in most quality of life categories,” Wood said. “Our representatives should care about West Virginia and the citizens, not their own egos.”