• Laura Wakim Chapman
  • Address – Wheeling
  • Party Affiliation: Republican
  • Age – 37
  • Occupation – Constitutional Lawyer
  • EDUCATION: West Virginia University College of Law, J.D.; Middlebury College, B.A. Political Science
  • FAMILY: I am the daughter and granddaughter of veterans and entrepreneurs.  My husband of ten years, Matthew, and I have two children, Jackson (age 6) and Eloise (age 5).
  •   What is your stance on abortion?   Are you in favor of exceptions in the case of rape and incest? I am pro-life.  I support the law that the legislature recently passed and Governor Justice signed.  
  • Are you in favor of Amendment 2, putting the power to eliminate/reduce personal property tax in the hands of the Legislature?  (If in favor, please indicate how you believe the lost revenue to the county and board of education would be made up) I support Amendment 2 as there will be no loss of revenue to the county or board of education.  As a constitutional lawyer, I take seriously Article 12 of our Constitution which requires the legislature to provide a free and efficient public school system.  I will not do anything that harms our schools.Amendment 2 is critical because inflation is harming every person and family in the Northern Panhandle.  The elimination of the personal property tax will bring real relief to those in the Northern Panhandle.There is also a lot of confusion about Amendment 2.  Amendment 2 only authorizes the legislature to eliminate/reduce personal property tax.  If Amendment 2 does not pass, the personal property tax cannot be touched and significant tax relief to the people of the Northern Panhandle would be difficult to achieve.Of particular importance, counties do not need to worry about a loss in revenue.  In fact, each county in West Virginia will have at least one million dollars more than the previous years tax assessments.  In addition, by reducing the tax burden on small business owners, the entrepreneurial spirit of West Virginians will lead them to expand their businesses, and thus the economy as a whole, by making capital investments and hiring more people.  Under the proposed plan, Hancock County will receive $1,195,573.36 beyond the 2021 tax assessments.  Over two million dollars will go back into people’s (not businesses or corporations) pockets!I understand counties are concerned about whether or not there will always be money in the budget from the State of West Virginia to pay for this plan.  I am not worried because the economic impact studies show that more people, businesses, and manufacturers will choose to come to West Virginia.  Last year, more people moved to West Virginia than people who moved out of West Virginia.  We can continue to do the same thing over and over with no change or growth, or we can do something new.  I have a lot of hope for our state, and especially for the Northern Panhandle.
  •  Are you in favor of Amendment 4, giving the Legislature oversight over the State Board of Education?  Amendment 4 will not affect our elected county school boards who answer to the voters.  We have the best schools in the Northern Panhandle and that is largely because of our wonderful educators.  Decisions regarding education in Hancock County schools should continue to be made at the local level by teachers, our elected school boards (who are held accountable by the voters), and families. The State Board of Education, on the other hand, is an unelected body.  I believe strongly in checks and balances.   Any unelected body should be subject to oversight, which is the responsibility of our House and Senate.
  • . What legislation would you sponsor and/or action would you take to spur economic development in the 1st District? My entire platform is to fix our failing infrastructure (including roads and broadband), ensure school safety, and to bring economic development to the Northern Panhandle.   The key to economic development is to encourage the spirit of entrepreneurship by lowering taxes, eliminating meaningless and obsolete regulations, and encouraging land use and development.I will fight for the people of the Northern Panhandle every day. Often, we are forgotten by Charleston.  It is wonderful when a business decides to locate to West Virginia, but all too often, that business goes to places outside of the Northern Panhandle.  If elected, I will work tirelessly to get those businesses and manufacturers to choose the Northern Panhandle.I will also work to create meaningful tax reform.  Our tax money does not belong to Charleston.  Our tax money belongs to the people.  I will work toward the elimination of state income tax which will cause more people to move to West Virginia.I will propose a law mandating Seniors be given the lowest possible price for prescriptions.I will also support legislation that will allow West Virginia energy production to help lower gasoline prices and the cost of utilities.
    #5. What experience or knowledge makes you the best candidate for the position?I am a constitutional lawyer and mother.  I decided to run for office to keep our children and grandchildren in West Virginia because we cannot continue to suffer population loss.  We lost one congressional seat and one electoral vote and we cannot afford to lose any more of our voice on the national level.  Change starts at home.My day-one priorities, if elected, are to fix our failing roads and to immediately secure our schools.  I will also work to combat inflation and to put more money in the people of the Northern Panhandle’s pockets.  We are suffering and need help.I fight for people’s constitutional rights in court and I will bring that fight with me to Charleston.