CHARLESTON — Three Republican lawmakers filed candidacy papers Tuesday with the secretary of state’s office, asking for more time to work on tax reform.

One of them, Sen. Russ Weeks, R-Raleigh, predicted a GOP takeover of the Senate.

Joining him in filing required paperwork were Sen. Jesse Guills, R-Greenbrier, and Delegate Linda Sumner, R-Raleigh.

“One of the most important votes that I look forward to casting down here after the next election is whether to vote for (Minority Leader) Vic Sprouse or Jesse Guills as Senate president,” Weeks said.

Sumner, a civics and history teacher in Beckley, is seeking her third term as a delegate in the 27th District.

The last time out, she led the ticket, with four Democrats winning the remaining four seats.

“I have been honored to represent the constituents of Raleigh and Summers counties and have carried their message to the House floor of fiscal responsibility, compassion and sensible government,” she said.

“Through bipartisan cooperation, we have tackled the tough issues such as DUI, prescription drugs and medical malpractice reform.”

All three said more reforms are needed, especially in tax reform.

“If the voters of the 27th honor me with their continued support, I hope to continue working toward the complete elimination of the food tax and reforming other taxes that paralyze economic growth, the protection of property owners’ rights and the protection of our families from domestic, child and sexual abuse,” she said.

Guills said the Legislature has been able to take huge strides in the past 31?2 years with the presence of the GOP agenda.

“We’ve got a governor now that likes the Republican platform,” he said.

Guills has two major goals in mind — an overhaul of the tax structure and dissolution of the West Virginia Parkways Authority so that the turnpike is turned over to the Division of Highways.

Changes for the positive became evident after the three were elected, Weeks said.

“I just want to continue on and complete as much on the job of reforming the way things go in this building,” he said.

“If we don’t run, the same ones are going to be back in there and we’re going to be starting from zero again.”

Weeks upset former Senate Judiciary Chairman Bill Wooton, D-Raleigh, in 2002, running as a virtual unknown. Wooton has indicated he will join the Democratic race, but no papers were on file as of Tuesday.

“I feel good about my race,” said Weeks, whose 9th District race has prompted two Democrats to run, Delegate Sally Susman, D-Raleigh, and newcomer Mike Green.

“I’m not taking anything for granted. I’m going to be out there just as strong as I was the first time. I’m a little better known now, and that’s going to be in my favor. I’m still going to go around and knock on doors and stand on the side of the road with my sign and get the word out to as many people as I can.”

— E-mail:

mannix@register-herald.com

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