William C. Wampler III

Current Position: State Delegate
Affiliation: Republican

Will Wampler’s professional experience includes the implementation of GO Virginia – an economic development initiative that is focused on the creation of higher-paying jobs in Southwest Virginia and other regions of the state. There are several innovative GO Virginia projects now underway in our region that include: a project to retain talented young people in the region and to provide pathways for these students to get high-paying jobs with employers in the region; a project in partnership with Virginia Tech to study new methods and ways to commercialize coal by-products; and a project at Mountain Empire Community College to utilize drone technologies to improve one of our oldest and strongest industries, agriculture.

Starla Kiser

Current Position: Founder, Healios Health
Affiliation: Democrat
Candidate: 2019 State Delegate

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William C. Wampler IIIWilliam C. Wampler III

Current Position: State Delegate
Affiliation: Republican

Will Wampler’s professional experience includes the implementation of GO Virginia – an economic development initiative that is focused on the creation of higher-paying jobs in Southwest Virginia and other regions of the state. There are several innovative GO Virginia projects now underway in our region that include: a project to retain talented young people in the region and to provide pathways for these students to get high-paying jobs with employers in the region; a project in partnership with Virginia Tech to study new methods and ways to commercialize coal by-products; and a project at Mountain Empire Community College to utilize drone technologies to improve one of our oldest and strongest industries, agriculture.

Summary

Current Position: State Delegate
Affiliation: Republican

Will Wampler’s professional experience includes the implementation of GO Virginia – an economic development initiative that is focused on the creation of higher-paying jobs in Southwest Virginia and other regions of the state. There are several innovative GO Virginia projects now underway in our region that include: a project to retain talented young people in the region and to provide pathways for these students to get high-paying jobs with employers in the region; a project in partnership with Virginia Tech to study new methods and ways to commercialize coal by-products; and a project at Mountain Empire Community College to utilize drone technologies to improve one of our oldest and strongest industries, agriculture.

About

Will is seeking to represent the 4th District in the Virginia House of Delegates, which includes the Town of Abingdon, Dickenson County, and parts of Washington, Russell, and Wise Counties. A native of Southwest Virginia, Will was born and raised in Bristol. After graduating from Virginia High School, Will earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of South Carolina. Will went on to study at Liberty University School of Law and earned his law degree.

An attorney, Will owns his own law practice, Wampler Law, PLC in Abingdon that provides a broad array of legal services to individuals and businesses. Prior to establishing his own law office, Will clerked for Virginia Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth McClanahan and worked for a public affairs and consulting firm, McGuireWoods Consulting, where he focused on education and workforce issues, public infrastructure, and economic development in Virginia.

Will’s professional experience includes the implementation of GO Virginia – an economic development initiative that is focused on the creation of higher-paying jobs in Southwest Virginia and other regions of the state. There are several innovative GO Virginia projects now underway in our region that include: a project to retain talented young people in the region and to provide pathways for these students to get high-paying jobs with employers in the region; a project in partnership with Virginia Tech to study new methods and ways to commercialize coal by-products; and a project at Mountain Empire Community College to utilize drone technologies to improve one of our oldest and strongest industries, agriculture.

Will is also proud of his past work supporting a non-profit called the The Literacy Lab. The Literacy Lab is an organization that places teams of tutors into Virginia’s high-need public school systems to ensure that our youngest students reach grade-level reading before exiting the 3rd grade. Not only does this effort improve the educational and economic outcomes of our young students, but it helps retain high-quality teachers in the school systems they serve.  

When Will is not pursuing work-related activities, he enjoys spending his time outdoors. Whether it’s chasing deer, turkey, or ducks here in Southwest Virginia or fly-fishing some of the premier trout waters in this part of the world – Will has always been an avid hunter and fisherman.

Above all, Will believes that service to others is one of the greatest callings in life, that is why he’s seeking to represent the people of the 4th House District.

Experience

Work Experience

Education

Contact

Email:

Offices

Campaign
P.O. Box 1683, Abingdon, VA 24212
Phone: 276-200-4007

Web

Campaign Site, Facebook, Instagram

Politics

Recent Elections

2019 State DelegateArray

William C. Wampler III (R)14,38962.91%
Starla J. Kiser (D)8,46136.99%
Write-in (Write-in)21.09%
TOTAL22,871

Finances

Source: Follow the Money

Issues

Civil Rights

Life

There is nothing else that happens after conception, but the creation of human life and it must be protected. I am pro-life. I will oppose abortion, taxpayer funding of abortion, and always support life as a legislator. 

Economy

Agriculture

Farming is one of Virginia’s largest industries – it employs over 330,000 people and has an economic impact of over $70 billion dollars annually. It is Southwest Virginia’s strongest industry by far. As your delegate, I will work support local farmers, work to ensure that the state and federal government stays off our family farms and will work to reduce regulations for our small and major producers.

Coal

Coal has long been the lifeblood of the Southwest Virginia economy.  I will always stand up for and protect the coal industry and our way of life here. I will continue to support the coalfield tax credit and oppose efforts by regulatory agencies to put our miners out of work. Coal is what produces 30% of our nation’s energy – it should not be a political football. 

I will help the coalfield region of the 4th House District find ways to put abandoned and reclaimed mine lands into productive reuse. This is a great opportunity, unique to the Appalachian region. 

Jobs and Economic Development

It is a priority of mine to help provide all people who want to work with employment opportunities so they can generate a stable income, live happily, and raise their families here. Let’s preserve what jobs we have, expand where we can, and aggressively recruit new industries and new jobs to our region. 

We have unique challenges that other regions do not, so we have to get creative in developing ways to attract new industries and new economic development prospects to the area. We must bring high-paying jobs back to Southwest Virginia.

Again, we have to focus on providing pathways for our young people, through internships, work-study programs, and certificate programs as means to find a fulfilling career. These can take place both in our high schools and at our community colleges. Students need the opportunity to gain valuable hands-on work experience prior to graduating.

Lastly, as a region, we must ensure that when a company wants to locate in Southwest Virginia, we have a commercial site or property ready for them to build on or settle into. I will work to build our portfolio of available sites and commercial properties. This includes the revitalization of aging assets into hubs of economic activity. 

Education

Our students deserve a high-quality education and if elected this will always be a top priority of mine. It is critical to our region to ensure our children have access to the best educational environments and opportunities. As a Delegate, I will work to ensure:

Our teachers are paid well
Our school infrastructure is maintained and enhanced when and where it’s needed
That the voices of our local teachers and school administrators are heard in Richmond. 
Pathways to high-paying jobs are also a priority of mine. Too often, students in Southwest Virginia have to leave our area for educational or employment opportunities. I will work to expand career and technical certificate programs in our high schools, so our students are ready to get a high-paying job after they graduate without incurring massive student loan debts.

We have several great higher-education institutions right here in Southwest Virginia. If you want an affordable, high-quality education here you should look into enrolling at one of our schools.

Nestled in Wise County, the University of Virginia’s College at Wise is a beacon of educational opportunity for the young people of Southwest Virginia. With great athletics and its robust course offerings, UVA-Wise has been ranked as one of the top liberal arts Colleges in the United States. 

If you visit Buchanan County, you will also find the Appalachian School of Law and the Appalachian College of Pharmacy.

Our area also has three excellent community colleges – Virginia Highlands Community College, Mountain Empire Community College, and Southwest Virginia Community College. 

Lastly, the region has three private colleges – Emory and Henry College, King University, and Lincoln Memorial University. All three are great schools that provide private options for young people here. 

Infrastructure

Rural Broadband Technologies

In the House of Delegates, I will deliver a new push to bring high-speed broadband and wireless technologies to our underserved communities. Like water and electricity, broadband is now an essential utility. I’ll work to ensure that our coalfield communities are connected and have access to broadband for our students, our families, our emergency services providers, and law enforcement.

Southwest Virginia is also home to many artisans, musicians, and craftsmen – they all deserve high-speed internet connectivity to help showcase their creativity and market their products.

Safety

The 2nd Amendment

I have been a hunter and gun owner my entire life and believe in this right absolutely. The 2nd Amendment grants American citizens the right to bear arms, which I believe is essential to protect ourselves, our property, and the other rights granted in the Constitution. I will always stand up for our gun rights and fight attempts to curtail or take this right away. 

Opioid Epidemic

Opioids and other forms of substance abuse have the ability to destroy communities, cripple families, and ruin lives. We must fight against the spread of these addictive drugs. Thanks to our strong Southwest Virginia legislators already in office, we are making progress to shrink the availability of these drugs and punish those who flood our communities with them. As your delegate, I will continue to work to bring state resources to bear on this issue. 

Opioid addiction creates a terrible cycle that we must break in order for our region to thrive.

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Starla KiserStarla Kiser

Current Position: Founder, Healios Health
Affiliation: Democrat
Candidate: 2019 State Delegate

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Summary

Current Position: Founder, Healios Health
Affiliation: Democrat
Candidate: 2019 State Delegate

N/A

About

Starla is originally from Dante, VA in Dickenson County. She grew up on a farm with three sisters. Her father was a public school teacher, bus driver, and farmer, and her mother was a stay-at-home mom before working as a communications assistant at AT&T.  She attended Ervinton High School and East Tennessee State University. Starla worked with a local NASA program in Wise County as an undergraduate which led to work at other NASA programs across the country including the NASA Astrobiology Academy in California. She did research in space medicine in Russia, France, and Silicon Valley and studied humanities in the Netherlands before attending medical school.

These unique opportunities allowed Starla to move to Boston and receive two degrees from Harvard. She received a medical degree at Harvard Medical School, and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration at the Harvard Kennedy School, studying international development and health policy. She did her medical residency training at Boston Children’s Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. She is board-certified in both Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. 

Starla has done work in global health, primary care, and service delivery innovation, in Tanzania, Kenya, South Sudan, India, and rural Appalachia. She has a non-profit, Healios Foundation, that helps invest in high-impact entrepreneurs and organizations in developing countries and underserved areas in the U.S., and promotes economic innovation in rural areas. Through this foundation, she helped create a primary school for children in South Sudan.

She worked in clinical innovation at Iora Health and Harken Health, an innovative primary care start-up, creating and directing wellness and disease management programs for a large population in Chicago, Illinois. 

After Harken Health closed in 2017, Starla decided to take the lessons she learned and move back home to create her own business and innovation lab in Southwest Virginia. She developed Healios Health, an innovative direct primary care and employer-based clinic. Her clinic was designed to serve patients who were uninsured in Virginia before Medicaid expanded in 2019. With the expansion of Medicaid, she is transitioning her business to focus on building medical software. Starla also worked with local female entrepreneurs to create Appalachian Women Entrepreneurs- a newly formed organization to support young women to become entrepreneurs in the region.

Starla believes in the expansion of medication-assisted treatment for those with opioid addiction, and has worked for over a year at the Dickenson County Behavioral Health Center- treating individuals in the county with opioid addiction. She is also working with her sister, CEO of a company and organization, IMPERFKT Foundation, on projects to support mental health in the region, while also promoting the arts, tourism, and economic development in SWVA. 

Experience

Work Experience

Education

Contact

Email:

Web

Campaign Site, Facebook, Instagram

Issues

Economy

 

Healthcare

 

Increasing Patient Choice.

Black Lung

Expanding Substance Use Treatment.

Increase Access to Mental Health Treatment. 

 

Education

Gun Safety

 

Economy

This area does not need handouts. What we really want, what we really need are good jobs. We want to provide for our families, and ensure our children have a bright future. It wasn’t long ago we could depend on the coal industry to offer our miners a good living.

We must continue to support our coal miners and keep our coal jobs. We also need to look to the future and make coal valuable again. We need to create innovative ways to utilize and commercialize our assets, including coal and our farming land and natural resources, while ensuring we keep the wealth in SWVA (e.g. coal to graphene).

As we support our farmers and coal miners, Southwest Virginia must attract new industries, like our neighbors have done in Kentucky and Tennessee. We can use multiple avenues including tax-based incentives, and ensuring sites are ready for development. We need to creatively reuse our abandoned mine land. We need to incentivize young professionals who have left the area to come back to live and build businesses. We must also continue to support our schools, and ensure access to high-speed internet, which are necessities for attracting industry.

We must support our small business owners, and provide opportunities for our young people to become entrepreneurs. We should also support research and development in areas including clean and renewable energies, so that SWVA can become a hotbed of innovation in this and other areas.

Our state and local leader’s primary focus should be on bringing jobs to SWVA. Although the economy is booming on the coasts and in the cities, our communities continue to be left behind. We cannot be complacent. We will not be able to thrive as long as our brightest residents have to leave the area to make a living. Our residents will continue to be sicker if their families cannot find jobs. Our young people will continue to be affected by opioid addiction if we do not give them hope from a young age that they can live out their life’s purpose and make a decent living in SWVA.

Education

Our greatest asset is our people, particularly our young people. With higher poverty rates, fewer resources, and the lowest paid teachers in the state, our students consistently score high on standards of learning exams (#1 in math, science, and reading) and rank in the top 10-20% in the state, while succeeding in areas like robotics. We cannot afford to lose these gains, but must support our teachers with higher pay and ensure our schools get the funding and resources they need to further prepare our youth for jobs in the 21st century.

Right now, our best and brightest seemingly have no choice but to leave SWVA to find jobs or further their education. We need to try everything possible to create jobs and opportunities so our students can stay, and offer incentives for those who have left to come back to the area and contribute to the SWVA economy. We need to offer more training programs for students in high school that allow them to graduate directly to jobs, and also enhance our area’s technical education. We need to keep our Job Corps Program.

We need to formalize the untapped skills of our unemployed workers and coal miners, giving them certificates for skills they already have so they can obtain jobs, and so our area can attract more industry. We need to offer shorter-term training and certificate programs at our community colleges for our citizens of any age to learn relevant skills including coding, software and web development, and other skills that are important to succeed in today’s technology jobs. We need to support these STEM jobs, while also promoting the arts and provide ways our area artisans, musicians and creatives can work together, expand their reach, and sell their products online all across the country.

We need to realize the potential of our area colleges, including the University of Virginia’s College at Wise, Emory and Henry, and our great community colleges, law and pharmacy schools, and also expand post-graduate education.

My primary focus is on jobs and the economy, and we cannot successfully attract industry without making sure we are adequately preparing our students. The intellect and adaptability of our students is already here, but we must do our part to ensure our students are putting the most relevant tools in their toolbox to contribute to the 21st century economy.

 

Health Care

I have been thankful to see so many of my patients now have access to health care with Virginia’s expansion of Medicaid. As a doctor, I have thought a lot about health care in our region. These are some of the ideas to increase access to quality health care in SWVA.

Increasing Patient Choice

Southwest Virginians need access to quality health care. We also need choice. Research has shown us that health care monopolies increase costs for patients, and also affect quality of care. We need to make sure our citizens do not have to drive hours to obtain emergency health services, or pay higher and higher prices for lower quality treatment- even when they have insurance. We need to push for price transparency in health care and publicly report and rank our health systems on quality and cost including percentage of administrative/wasted costs.

We need to dramatically improve health care quality in the area by supporting health development zones and pilot innovative projects in the SWVA region, including support for Medicaid/Medicare value-based health care initiatives. We need to get our citizens access to standards of care, including setting up our own telemedicine Centers of Excellence so our citizens can access top quality evidence-based specialty care all across the country.

We also need to be creative about attracting new providers to the area through scholarship and loan forgiveness programs, and also support independent practitioners and health systems in the area.

Black Lung

We must support our miners to receive black lung benefits, and ensure patients with black lung receive adequate specialty care. We must support research in advanced black lung and access to the latest treatment options.

Expanding Substance Abuse Treatment

I have been providing addiction treatment in Dickenson County for over a year. Our counties have high rates of opioid addiction and overdoses per capita, yet there are few providers offering addiction treatment. We have to get rid of the stigma, and ensure our neighbors, family, and friends get the help they need. Virginia has been at the forefront of ensuring Medicaid provides coverage for opioid treatment.

We need to further expand medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid addiction and expand harm reduction policies. Learning from other states, we can create hub-and-spoke models that create a cohesive ecosystem for addiction treatment, increasing MAT access in primary care with referrals to these specialty addiction centers. We need to increase the number of step-down and intensive outpatient programs that offer residents concentrated treatment outside of our limited number of detox/rehab centers.

Like other states, we need to support challenges and fund innovative programs that are creating next generation opioid treatments, including digital therapies and rehab at home programs. We also need to digitally map our current MAT providers, and make it easily accessible to patients.

Increasing Access to Mental Health Treatment

SWVA is in dire need of adequate mental health treatment. Patients with severe mental health issues have difficulty seeing a psychiatrist and getting appropriate treatment. We need to attract more psychiatrists to the area, ensure area psychiatrists and behavioral health practitioners receive adequate insurance reimbursement so they see our patients with Medicaid, and increase support to our community behavioral health centers. We need to expand psychiatric step-down programs, increase the quality of our inpatient psychiatric facilities, and overall push to innovate in psychiatric care and behavioral health in Virginia, bringing it into the the 21st century. We need to work on the stigma surrounding mental health diagnoses, and ensure our local and state policies treat mental health patients compassionately- like they treat all other patients and citizens in the area.

Safety

Gun Safety

I SUPPORT THE 2ND AMENDMENT

It is settled Constitutional law that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm, unconnected with service in a militia, for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.
The Second Amendment was authored by James Madison who is considered the father of the Constitution. The Commonwealth of Virginia has played a prominent role in protecting the individual rights of our citizens. In the Heller case, the Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense.

District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008).

 

THE 2ND AMENDMENT SHOULD APPLY TO LAW ABIDING CITIZENS

The Supreme Court has also stated that the right to bear arms is not unlimited and that guns and gun ownership would continue to be regulated. I believe that any regulation should be based upon an effort to strengthen the rights of law abiding citizens to enjoy the freedoms set forth in our Constitution. The law allows those who have been convicted of violent crimes and felonies to be barred from ownership from firearms. I believe that those committing crimes by the use or possession of a firearm need to be punished strongly so that sportsmen and law abiding citizens may continue to enjoy their freedoms unfettered by regulation.

 
I SUPPORT CONSISTENT GUN LAWS THROUGHOUT THE COMMONWEALTH

I share the position of the NRA and other gun owner support groups in supporting consistent gun laws throughout the Commonwealth. We do not need a “patchwork” of local and/or municipal laws regulating the ownership and use of firearms. A citizen of Virginia should be able to educate themselves concerning the laws of Virginia and feel confident in exercising their rights to bear arms consistently throughout the Commonwealth.

 
I SUPPORT THE PROTECTION OF EXISTING SHOOTING RANGES

I believe that existing shooting ranges should be exempt to regulation from any zoning or noise ordinance based upon encroaching population. It is my position that moving near an existing shooting range is analogous to moving next to an airport.

 
I SUPPORT LEGISLATION TO ALLOW HUNTING ON SUNDAY

I believe that sportsmen should be able to hunt on both public and private lands on Sunday.
 

I WOULD ENCOURAGE THE MANUFACTURE OF FIREARMS IN SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA

I would support the manufacture of firearms and military grade weapon systems in Southwest Virginia. The workforce of our region consists of many dedicated and trained workers who would benefit from the manufacture of firearms and weapons in our region.

 
I AM IN FAVOR OF BACKGROUND CHECKS AT GUN SHOWS

I am convinced that a law abiding gun owner can withstand the scrutiny of a background check to ensure that firearms do not fall into the hands of violent felons or terrorists. I believe that requiring background checks for gun purchases at gun shows and other public events where guns may be sold in large numbers will further protect our rights to bear arms and increase the safety of our state.

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