- Associated Press - Sunday, June 24, 2018

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia Republican congressional candidate Carol Miller is taking a wait-and-see approach on several issues if elected to the U.S. House from the 3rd District.

Miller was noncommittal in an interview with the Charleston Gazette-Mail when asked for her stance on a range of issues, including the opioid epidemic, health care coverage and energy policy.

Miller, the majority whip in the state House of Delegates, said she would vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act but didn’t specify what she would replace it with.

“Well you know, I’ve got to get to Congress first before I can see all the various options that will be out there,” she said.

Miller also hesitated when asked how she would change health care markets.

“Do you really think I could give you an answer on that?” she said. “I mean, it’s been going on, and the ACA just complicated it even more.”

Her opponent, Democratic state senator Richard Ojeda, is opposed to repealing the health care law. Instead, he said a public buy-in option for Medicare should be offered to build more competitive markets.

Ojeda was the lead sponsor in the Senate of a bill that legalized medical marijuana in West Virginia. Miller also voted for the bill.

Ojeda would support federal legislation to allow states to handle medical marijuana without conflicting with U.S. code. He said medical marijuana would help reduce the reliance on pain medication by giving chronic pain sufferers another form of relief.

Miller said Congress has passed several laws already concerning the opioid epidemic and has allocated money for West Virginia. She said she would need to see federal legislation first before taking a stance on it.

“Again, when I’m in Congress, I will deal with those things,” she said.

Ojeda has been critical of Miller’s ties to the pharmaceutical industry. Her husband owns shares in several companies, including McKesson Corp., Merck and Co., and Teva Pharmaceuticals.

“For a person to be from Huntington, where the struggle is as real as it has ever been, to be a person that is in the pockets of big pharma and have stock in the very companies that have killed our people, to be making money, profit from that, from this opioid crisis, it is absolutely sickening,” Ojeda said.

Miller called the accusations “dirty politics, and I’m tired of it.”

Miller comes from a political family. Her father is the late U.S. Rep. Samuel Devine of Ohio. She received 9,000 of the 37,500 votes cast in the GOP primary to defeat six others.

Ojeda won a majority of the 57,000 votes cast in the Democratic primary.

The 3rd district, whose voters strongly backed President Donald Trump in 2016, is being vacated by Republican Congressman Evan Jenkins, who ran for U.S. Senate and lost in the May primary.


Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail, http://wvgazettemail.com.

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