Sergent and Mooney: Where they stand on opioid crisis


Election Day is now two days away and the Alex Mooney and Talley Sergent campaigns in West Virginia's 2nd congressional district have been heating up over the past few months.

In a series of profiles Democrat candidate, Talley Sergent and Republican candidate, Alex Mooney told Eyewitness News where they stand on important issues like the opioid epidemic, both agreeing that the drug crisis problem needs confronting.

"This is a very personal issue to me, my sister suffers from addiction," Sergent said. "20 years ago my mother adopted my niece and has since adopted my niece and nephew, and she's raising them. She's 66-years-old, a public school teacher here in West Virginia, raised six kids of her own and now raising three grand-kids so this is very personal and I have zero tolerance for a bunch of politicians who bicker up in Washington and do nothing to help us here on the ground."

Mooney hopes the new bill President Trump signed into law to curb the epidemic in October will help.

"We just passed a package of about 30 bills that Trump signed here recently," Mooney said. "Everything for prevention, money for rehabilitation, we actually have women who are interning in our office who are part of the Recovery Point program in Charleston. We offer internships as they're getting through recovery so they can get job experience and go out and get jobs, so we're doing our part there to help."

Sergent said it's too little too late.

"Alex Mooney is too late it is too little too late, he's done absolutely nothing," Sergent said. "We have got to have a bipartisan plan that is so broad and expensive that we team up with the local entities and that we team up with the private sectors."

Mooney said he passed his own bills to confront this issue.

"I had a bill passed that prevented doctors from being pressured to prescribe prescription medicine for people who didn't need it, painkillers, a lot of them were getting penalized by Obamacare who maybe wanted it but didn't need it," Mooney said. "There's a lot of little things that you can do to tweak the system, it turned out you couldn't get half the prescription filled, a lot of laws we're doing on that, a lot of money coming in for enforcement, I still believe in enforcement, making sure police officers have the resources they need to make the arrests they need of people that are bringing the drugs into our state, so there's a lot that needs to be done."

Sergent said she has an ABC framework she's building on, accountability, break the cycle and care and recovery.

"Accountability starting with the companies that dump pills in our town, poison our people , those CEO's need to go to prison," Sergent said. "There's no easy hand outs that Patrick Morrisey that gets money for them and Alex Mooney who takes money from them, these CEO's need to go to jail for what they've done to our cities and our communities. The addicts need to be held accountable, and I'm saying this from my own personal experience when they break the law, we know they suffer from a disease but there has to be accountability and there has to be that balance between treatment and and making sure their held accountable for their actions. "B" stands for break the cycle, we're so focused on the addicts themselves right now that people right now, elected officials are turning a blind eye to this next generation that we're at risk of losing. We have 6,000 children in the foster care system it is an all out crisis. We have got to be focusing on these young kids. 'C' is for care and recovery, we need more impatient treatment centers here in West Virginia, there's some counties in the 2nd district that don't have any treatment centers right now and so we've got to wrap our arms around that. Bring the private sector to the table, government's not going to fix everything but they can be a good partner and right now we don't have a federal government that's a good partner."

Both said combating the drug issue is a top priority for them.

"It's a big issue, I'm working on it, I'm passionate about it, I think most of us are and I'm pleased to continue to work on that," Mooney said.

"We need leaders who understand what we're going through and can be mindful when we're up in Washington DC to make the right decision for the people not for the pharmaceutical companies," Sergent said.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off