Editor's note: Candidates for the upcoming general election can email their candidate statements to firstname.lastname@example.org by no later than Oct. 30.
Mike House, of Kerens, has been a business owner, pastor and mental health therapist and counselor in the local community for the past 30 years.
He is the Republican candidate for a seat on the Randolph County Commission. House graduated from the Grand Rapids School of Bible and Music in 1978 with a major in pastoral theology and a minor in youth ministries. He has continued his studies over the years, most recently receiving a master's degree in marriage and family counseling from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. He currently is licensed with the state as a professional counselor. He is employed by Psimed Inc. as a therapist at the Huttonsville Correctional Center.
House and his wife, Brenda, own and operate the QBH Frame Shop. They have raised five children and are now the proud grandparents of 12 grandchildren.
He also is pastor of the Ambassador Baptist Church in Elkins and previously started and served as the pastor of the Tygart Valley Baptist Church in Beverly. In addition to ministering to the community as a pastor, he also has served as a family intervention counselor for various agencies in Elkins.
House said he has spoken to many citizens in Randolph County during his campaign, and he has heard many concerns and questions. These concerns range from the response to the severe June 29 storm and the floodplain ordinance to the problems emergency personnel and fire department volunteers are facing.
"As a county commissioner, I will continue to listen to what citizens are concerned about," House said in a news release. "To the best of my ability, I will find answers to these concerns and resolve the problems. Having no ties to the courthouse or county personnel, I can more objectively pursue resolutions to the issues that citizens are concerned about."
House said he always has focused on the families of the community.
"At the heart of any issue we are facing, the family is vital. If we can impact families, we can address the drug problem, education and economic issues, teen pregnancy and absent fathers, as well as many other issues," he said. "When these areas of concern are addressed, our community becomes a welcome home for families, industry and tourism."
House said that by enhancing the outreach of faith-based and nonprofit organizations, families' needs can be met and more families can be strengthened. Also, encouraging and attracting family-friendly businesses and industry will strengthen local communities and discourage unwanted elements. This also would make the area an attractive, safe destination for tourists.
Another important area that must be protected is property. Over the years, state and federal mandates and regulations have robbed families of their right to use their own land, while at the same time overtaxing them for that land. Under the guise of doing what is best for the good of the land, House said the government has mandated flood plains, creek and stream rights of way and nearly regulated farmers out of business. Families must have the right to proudly own, manage and protect their property.
"Our county has seen more than its share of corruption, drug-related problems, child neglect and abuse, recidivism of offenders and many other undesirable elements in our communities," he said. "Randolph County has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the state. West Virginia has the highest drug-related deaths in the nation. These are serious problems that take innovative ideas and strong leadership to overcome.
"As mentioned, I have for many years ministered to and counseled families, started and served as pastor of churches and have run a business. I will also govern from this same Biblical worldview. We must return our families, communities and nation back to the God, who made her great," he continued. "My family has struggled in these endeavors, and God has prospered us as we have served our community. Brenda and I, along with our children Alex and Alexus, will proudly serve (I Corinthians 4: 1, 2) the good people of Randolph County."