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With House experience, Carey says he understands area#039;s concerns

Full-time legislator John Carey believes he understands the three issues that voters in Lawrence County, and across the state, are most worried about.

"People's main concerns are jobs, education and prescription drugs," he said.

"One of the things I have worked on is to bring jobs to the area and make sure we have the resources to compete with the rest of the state and the rest of the world."

Of his many political accomplishments as a state representative,

he is very proud of introducing the Rural Industrial Park Loan Program that has helped fund projects like The Point.

"One of my goals as a State Representative was to make sure each county had a viable industrial park to attract new industry and provide existing industry room to expand."

While in office, he also supported allocating about $15 million to Appalachian counties to fund workforce development.

"We need to make sure we are not left behind in the new economy," he said. "We must make sure Lawrence County and the rest of the counties can participate with the new technologies available."

Fighting for education is something he has done and is proud of. He helped rewrite the state funding formula to include a 20 percent increase to reduce the gap in school funding and supported allocating $2.4 billion for construction of schools, he said.

If elected, he plans on hosting monthly open-door meetings to keep in touch with the people that elected him. He did this after the Scottown fire and helped establish Rural Fire Department Loan Program.

"Elected officials need to listen and carry constituents concerns back to Columbus," he said.

"My number one priority is to represent my constituents to the best of my ability," he said. "I am a very hands-on legislator. I want people to know I am available any time, not just during an election year."

With a special concern for senior citizens, Carey supported the Discount Drug Program to provide them with medicine discounts but he thinks that there is still a lot of work to be done.

"We need to provide immediate relief to seniors on these costs," he said. "We are not done by any means."

Carey said he wants people to know that he is thinking about the direction the state and the county are headed.

"Our best days are ahead of us," he said. "We have challenges but we have made progress. We have made gains that in the long run, I think will pay off. I am optimistic about the future."

Veterans concerns are also a high priority for him as a representative and even more so if he becomes a senator.

"Our veterans should be our number one priority," he said. "We owe no one a greater debt than to our vets."

Carey was named the National Republican Legislator of the Year. He was the only House member in the nation to be honored.

Local projects that have him excited include new schools, industrial parks like the Point and the Chesapeake bypass.

"It is important we realize spending more money is not always the answer," he said. "We must use tax payers' dollars carefully and responsibly."