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Virginia House District 4

The 4th District contains parts of Dickenson, Wise, Russell and Washington Counties. Delegates serve a two-year term and are eligible for reelection. The salary is $17,640 per year. A Delegate must be at least 21 years old at the time of election and be a resident of the district he/she seeks to represent.

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  • Candidate picture

    Starla Kiser
    (Dem)

  • William Wampler
    (Rep)

Biographical Information

What do you believe is the top priority for your district, and what is your plan to address it?

What measures, if any, would you support to ensure voting access, voter protection and election integrity?

Regarding fair redistricting, (1) what is your position on the proposal for a Virginia Redistricting Commission? (2) If the constitutional amendment is adopted on second reading by the 2020 legislature, what legislation will you support to implement the commission?

What measures do you propose to increase job opportunities and improve job training in your district? How are these different from or better than past measures that have been tried?

What is your campaign’s policy regarding campaign contributions?

What is the best way to reduce the high level of drug addiction in Southwest Virginia?

What legislation would you propose to keep hospitals competitive in rural areas?

How can the congestion and safety problems of Interstate 81 be reduced? How would the state pay for these improvements?

Do you oppose or support Virginia legislation regarding the ban of assault weapons and bump stocks and extended magazines?

Campaign Phone (276) 791-9552
Education ETSU B.A. Harvard Medical School M.D. Harvard Kennedy School M. A. in Public Administration
Experience Small Business Owner
Family Family members throughout the District
HEALTHCARE: As an independent physician in SWVA, I feel a responsibility to stand up for the patients and health care providers in SWVA who cannot. Regarding the region’s health care merger, I believe we need to hold the health system accountable. We need to conduct an independent audit to investigate Ballad’s billing practices, comparing prices to similar markets and to prices prior to the merger. We need to look at short-term outcome data that is currently available and make this data public as soon as possible, without waiting for a committee to tell us years from now which metrics we need to follow. We need to look at accessibility metrics including number of same day appointments and time to first appointment in our clinics and staffing patterns and wait times at our hospitals. Finally, we need to make Net Promoter Scores public- this lets a community know if patients are satisfied with their care. After analyzing the results over a short time frame, the right answer may be to repeal the COPA and revisit the merger going forward. We need to expand treatment options for those with opioid addiction. Also, we need to dramatically increase the mental health resources for Southwest Virginians, which is currently extremely limited. We need to ensure our current policies treat mental health patients compassionately. ECONOMY: I support incentives for new industry and ensuring we have the broadband infrastructure to support them and creating an environment such that small businesses can thrive. I want to encourage more outside investment to support and scale these businesses and provide incentives for remote workers to live in SWVA and to attract young professionals to move back to the region. EDUCATION: Our schools need to get the funding and resources to further prepare our youth for jobs in the 21st century, including technology jobs. Teacher salaries need to be increased. Every student should have a plan and pathway upon graduation, whether through a job, starting college, or starting a business. Apprenticeship programs should be available at our schools.
I will work hard to provide the local government the tools they need to protect our elections. I will strive to keep all elections free and fair to all citizens of my District.
I need to study the proposal more as this matter is too important to our area to lock into a position without reviewing all the facts and studying all the possible outcomes or unintended consequences.
I support tax-based incentives to attract new industries to the region. We should ensure that all young people have a streamlined pathway upon graduating high school. Enhanced technical education and expanded apprenticeship programs should be available in our schools to connect students with high-paying jobs upon graduation, She supports programs that help high school students graduate with nursing degrees and associates’ degrees. Other considerations include working with community colleges to develop more certificate and short-term programs that give citizens of any age skills to perform 21st century jobs, without significant cost or a 2 year time commitment. Community colleges can also give miners certificates for skills they already possess, which helps them look for new jobs and helps the area attract new industry. Our 4-year colleges need to add more graduate programs, and research and development programs, with a specific focus on helping citizens prepare for the most relevant jobs in SWVA.
Our focus has been on receiving small donations from individuals. We are not actively courting large corporate donations. I want to represent all those living in the District.
First of all, treatment programs need to be accessible to patients. Virginia has done a good job in ensuring that Medicaid provides coverage for addiction treatment, so we need to ensure this is more widely accessible in SWVA, especially programs that do more than just prescribe medication. SWVA has very limited intensive treatment options for patients. We need more long-term recovery programs and intensive outpatient programs. Finally, I do believe that if we bring more jobs to our area, and young people have hope to graduate, to go to college or a high-paying job, then our rates will also decline.
What I have seen in practice in our region is that the health care merger has allowed closure of services at rural hospitals while increasing referrals to larger hospitals in cities. This is occurring at the same time that outpatient options for patients in these rural areas are closing, resulting in dramatically reduced accessibility of care for those in rural areas. This is the wrong approach to rural hospital closures. This needs to be addressed first and foremost, and any policies that are developed need to be constructed in such a way to benefit patients, and not just the corporations that own these hospitals. Some federal legislation is being proposed focusing on the critical access hospital designation, which would change the definitions to allow more hospitals to become CAH and the definitions to become more lenient. This could possibly be helpful, but any policies should simultaneously increase both inpatient and outpatient accessibility options in a community, and again, not just benefit the owners of these hospitals. Other considerations might include add-on funding to rural hospitals with a large Medicaid population that are able to meet certain quality considerations or those that pilot more value-based/capitated payment models. I would consider increasing reimbursement for telemedicine services, so that we can add lower cost services to these hospitals while still obtaining adequate reimbursement. I am also interested in thinking about grant programs in the Commonwealth to see if start-ups could focus on innovating in this area and helping to solve this problem.
I believe we need to take another look at the plans of completing of I26 from Charleston SC to Columbus OH through Virginia. Not only would this take some traffic off of 81, it would also spur development in economically depressed areas along that route. While there are matching state funding sources the bulk of Interstate development has traditionally come from Federal funding.
The Supreme Court has stated that the right to bear arms is not unlimited and that guns and gun ownership would continue to be regulated. I believe that any regulation should be based upon an effort to strengthen the rights of law-abiding citizens to enjoy the freedoms set forth in our Constitution. The law allows those who have been convicted of violent crimes and felonies to be barred from ownership from firearms. I believe that those committing crimes by the use or possession of a firearm need to be punished strongly so that law-abiding citizens may continue to enjoy their freedoms unfettered by regulation.
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