CHARLESTON — Gov. Jim Justice has appointed Chanda Adkins of Raleigh County to the House of Delegates District 31 seat vacated by Lynne Arvon, who was appointed to the state Senate.
Adkins was sworn in Friday. The two other names submitted to the governor for the seat were Christopher Toney and Hubert Miller, the governor's office said.
She had previously filed to run for election for the 31st District seat in the May primary. The seat was vacated when Justice appointed Arvon last month to the 9th District Senate seat left vacant after Sen. Jeff Mullins resigned earlier in the month.
"I'm going to serve the people in the 31st. I'm a quick study and I want to learn as much as I can learn and do as much as I can," Adkins said, later adding, "It's good to keep the seat conservative and as a woman, I just want to serve the people well."
Adkins is a licensed pharmacist and also is a director for the West Virginians for Health Freedom, a grassroots anti-vaccine group.
"I came to be part of that because of several other West Virginia families who had vaccine injury stories and I've listened to their stories and a lot of stories have the same theme," she said. "A lot have taken vaccines and been injured. It's a grassroots organization just wanting to fight for some legislation to help benefit families."
According to its website, the organization is a group of West Virginians fighting to establish legislative policies involving "parental choice." Adkins said she did not know at this time if she would pursue legislation regarding vaccines.
"This session, I want to work with the party and try to do something good for West Virginia for the next 30 days," she said.
Adkins said she plans to talk to the Ethics Commission about her position with the group.
"I wish that group well going forward and I hope to see them continue to progress as they continue to educate and bring awareness to a group of people who had adverse effects," Adkins said.
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