CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Talley Sergent, the former state director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, says she wants to challenge Alex Mooney for West Virginia’s Second District Congressional seat.

“I want to do my part and serve the people of this state, put them first and I will work very hard to get that message out to as many people as possible,” Sergent said on Friday’s MetroNews “Talkline,” a day after she announced her candidacy in the 2018 race.

Talley Sergent for West Virginia

Talley Sergent will run as a Democrat in the 2018 race for Congress.

Sergent, 37, a Huntington native, will run as a Democrat in hopes of defeating Mooney, a Republican, who has held the position since 2014.

Her grandfather’s job as a doctor is what inspired Sergent to run for office.

“I drove my Papa to go make house calls. He said if my patients can’t come see me at the hospital or at the office, I need to go and see them and serve them. That’s what he did and that has just been ingrained in me. It is who I am. I follow that example,” Sergent said.

Sergent said she will focus on turning “obstacles into opportunities” for West Virginians.

“I think that we probably need to step back from politics in general and say what are we doing to actually help people?” she said. “The focus has gotten off the people and it’s just gotten into big money and so much divisiveness. At the end of the day, our working families are left behind.”

When it comes to health care reform, Sergent said she believes the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, should be changed but not eliminated.

“We’ve got to make it better. We’ve got to lower those premiums for folks in the middle, we’ve got to make sure that the markets are stabilized and then we also have to make sure that the cost of prescription drugs are going down,” she said.

Medicaid expansion needs to remain in place, because the state depends on it, Sergent said.

“West Virginia can’t afford not to have Medicaid expansion. We want to make sure that this state doesn’t go broke. We need to make sure that we keep Medicaid expansion and make sure that we can still deliver health care services to people of this state,” she said.

Aaron Scheinberg has also announced his candidacy for the Democratic ticket. The winner would take on Mooney.

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