Lawmaker left Georgia for a love of the mountains - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Lawmaker left Georgia for a love of the mountains

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Delegate Amanda Pasdon, R-Monongalia, is not just a state lawmaker who loves West Virginia's luscious hillsides.

She chose to make West Virginia her home.

Pasdon, who attended West Virginia University for her doctorate degree, was offered a position with the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, deciding then to move from her home state of Georgia.

Her entire family continues to live in Georgia, but Pasdon has traded in peaches for mountain views. She and her husband, Chris, have made West Virginia a place they can begin to improve and bring more people from outside the state to settle in.

“Everybody in my family thought I was crazy for doing it,” she said. “I fell in love with the state.”

Pasdon moved to West Virginia in 2008, married her husband in 2010, and that same year made her first political run to represent West Virginians in the 51st District.

She has been successful in the state since then, and is running for re-election again this year. She said she continues to stay in West Virginia because she has seen the strides legislators have been making over the last several years.

Her work with the chamber has also brought her interest in bringing more jobs to the state.

“Serving in the Legislature is an opportunity to ask what we can change, to (make the state) more attractive,” Pasdon said. “Making sure we improve West Virginia's business climate, make it friendly and create the most opportunity we can for employers.”

With the threat of the state losing a congressional seat by 2020 because of declining population, Pasdon hopes to be part of what can prevent that from happening.

After stumbling into chamber work through volunteering at her local chamber in Georgia, Pasdon said she just knew she was meant for the type of work it would bring. She said the opportunity to do chamber work has improved her love for the state.

Officially given the task of director of business development and investment, Pasdon said her job at the chamber relates to membership.

She also is part of the planning chamber's Annual Meeting and Business Summit, leading a team of people to accomplish the event. Pasdon referred to it as her baby, but in real life, Pasdon has two dogs and lives in Morgantown with her husband.

She said she knows West Virginians are a close-knit group, but hopes she can help bring more people to the state through building an attractive business climate.

“We have to want to grow, be attractive to others because otherwise what else does our future look like,” Pasdon said. “(There are) hidden nuggets, kind of treasures we have in West Virginia and I enjoy getting to visit (them).”

Pasdon said she has made a commitment to visit more areas of the Mountain State, exploring all the things that make it unique and different from her previous home state — not just the lack of peaches and the addition of hollows.

 

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