In the three Charleston area races for State Senate — Districts 4, 8 and 17 — voters once again have good choices among both Democrat and Republican candidates. But the experience and philosophy of each of the GOP candidates earns them the Daily Mail endorsement.
District 4 covers Mason and Jackson counties and parts of Putnam and Roane. Its current senator is Republican Mark Drennan, who was appointed to replace Mike Hall, who became Gov. Jim Justice’s chief of staff. Drennan was defeated in the Republican primary by small business owner Eric J. Tarr.
Tarr is facing Democrat attorney Brian Prim and independent Mason County school teacher Amy Nichole Grady in the general election.
The authenticity and dedication of all three candidates shines through in discussion. But Tarr is the logical pick to keep West Virginia’s pro-business policies and economic progress on track.
District 8 roughly covers the northern half of Putnam and Kanawha counties. Ed Gaunch is seeking his second four-year term, after defeating incumbent Erik Wells in 2014.
A true gentleman who never has a bad word to say about an opponent, Gaunch is facing Democrat Rich Lindsay, a friendly and likeable Charleston attorney, who leans more toward government than private-sector solutions. As a second term senator, Gaunch will continue the positive momentum West Virginia has made to improve the state’s business climate and deserves re-election.
Likewise, in District 17, which encompasses the southern two-thirds of Kanawha County, one-term incumbent Dr. Tom Takubo is facing a challenge by Terrell Ellis.
Like all the other candidates in these races, Ellis, a self-employed economic developer, is hard-working, and would be a dedicated senator. But she too leans more toward the Democratic policies that failed West Virginia previously, and like Gaunch, Takubo has proven to be one who supports a stronger economy through better tax and regulatory policy.
We appreciate when great people of all persuasions enter political contests — as is the case in these three races, but voters are urged to keep all three of those Senate seats in Republican hands.