PRINCETON — A Mercer County teacher has announced her plans to run for the 27th District of the West Virginia House of Delegates during the 2020 election.
Tina Russell, a Democrat, said Friday in a press release that she has been a public school teacher in Mercer County for almost five years, and spent the previous 25 years as a social worker in Mercer County and facilitated addiction recovery group classes and other addiction recover-related case management programs.
“I’ve worked with children with special needs, and have assisted foster families in getting assistance to care for traumatized children that have been placed in their home due to neglect or abuse,” Russell said.
Russell said she is also a veteran who served in the U.S. Army for nine years, including a tour in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm. She spoke about why she is running for office.
“Love for our neighbors has to be the central part of our politics,” Russell said. “In Mercer County recently, it hasn’t been. But our county deserves better; we deserve lawmakers who actually represent the good people here, who can serve as role models for our children, and who’ll represent our area to the world with dignity, kindness, compassion, intelligence and grit. That’s why I’m running for House of Delegates: I love Mercer County and the entire beautiful state of West Virginia. I know everybody deserves to be treated with dignity.”
Russell said she would fight to increase the minimum wage and fight for more mental health counselors, social workers, nurses and school aides in the public education system. She also said she would fight for increased drug treatment facilities.
“We should not turn people away who need treatment and want to recover, and we should not rush to graduate addicts from recovery before they’re ready, just to open up a bed,” she said. “We need long-term thinking.”
Russell said she would also “fight for families struggling with opioid addiction” and “fight to get our rural roads, water, and sewer infrastructure properly maintained, and increase broadband access.”
“Who wants to move a business to a place with constant boil advisories, a place that may not even provide reliable clean water, much less internet?” she said. “I’ll fight for your right to live and work in a vibrant place where everyone who works hard has the opportunity to thrive.”