West Virginia Public Employees’ Insurance Agency, teachers’ salaries, hometown pride, medical marijuana, money in politics and the opioid epidemic figured into speeches offered Tuesday by candidates in races for the West Virginia Senate District 9 primary election.
Hopefuls spoke at the “Meet the Candidates” breakfast at Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center, hosted by the Beckley Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce.
In the West Virginia Senate race, teachers’ salaries, medical marijuana, education and wasteful governmental spending were key topics.
Steve Davis, a Democratic candidate from Raleigh County, said a recent strike by state teachers brought a crisis with PEIA, including escalating costs, to the forefront. PEIA is the public employees’ insurance program, which serves teachers.
“We need to take care of our teachers,” he said. “We gave them a 5 percent raise. I don’t think that’s enough.
“We talked about PEIA. It’s broken. It’s not fixed. In my mind, the teacher is one of the top problems we need to look at.”
Davis said that, if elected, his first mission is to address PEIA concerns and that he would also cut waste in