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ELECTION PREVIEW: Mercer County Commission

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MERCER COUNTY (WVVA) -- Mercer County voters have two choices on the ballot for the lone seat on the County Commission.

Incumbent Republican Greg Puckett is being challenged by Ronnie Oakley, who is not affiliated with a political party.

We asked both to share what they feel are the big issues facing voters, and what they plan to do if they win the seat.

Puckett says that infrastructure, drugs, and improving Mercer County's cash flow are issues that need to be addressed.

"Our diversification of revenue is not there," Puckett explained. "We only have one stream, and that's through the tax values of our citizens. That's going to be one of my main goals - is to be making sure we have those connections with our Legislature and work with those implicitly to see if we can get some of those extra dollars, and infuse our county with those additional opportunities."

Oakley says he feels the biggest challenges facing Mercer County are job losses, infrastructure, and giving people a louder voice in government.

"We have more people moving out of this county than we do moving in," Oakley said. "So I think that if we work with property owners, cleaning up dilapidated structures and getting them to work with us and we work with them, and getting this place looking good - I think if we get things like that done, you can get more people moving in, and you can get more businesses moving into the area."

We asked both Oakley and Puckett why they're Mercer County voters' best choice for the County Commission.

"I just like to focus on what's going to be strong for us," Puckett said. "You know, it takes partnerships, knowing who these people are, and understanding how to work with them on a very personal level."

"I'm a common sense guy, a business man," Oakley said. "I own my own business. If you run this county like a business, I believe that it would prosper."

Voters in Mercer County get the final say on Election Day - the first Tuesday in November.

Click here for more candidate previews.

Christina Kass

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