EDITORIAL: Finances Will Count in Governor's Race

EDITORIAL:  Finances Will Count in Governor's Race

We salute the civic spirit of Delegates Mitch Carmichael (R-Jackson), Tim Armstead (R-Kanawha), and Troy Andes (R-Putnam) in their possible interest in running for Governor in the upcoming GOP Special Primary Election. All three, especially Carmichael and Armstead, are wizened veterans of the legislature and have served honorably for several years. 

Carmichael is perhaps the most well-read of the three, quoting economic theorists like Friedrich Hayek with ease.  One could consider Carmichael West Virginia's version of Congressman Paul Ryan, and if the Republicans could take over the House, he would be an excellent Finance Committee Chair, sifting through the state's bloated budgets.

Delegate Armstead has been a competent House Minority Leader, increasingly finding his voice on a range of matters, challenging the Democratic Majority in a civil way, befitting his status.  Armstead is a fine family man with deep roots in the Kanawha Valley, and his understanding of his state is sound.

Delegate Andes is not yet thirty and would have a difficult time convincing people that his qualifications for office outweigh his youthful ambition. But we need the younger generation to reach for the stars, even if, as is the case with Andes, their employers have as many problems as Massey Energy.

The only obvious problem any of these younger generation of Republican leaders will have in convincing people to back them for Governor is that magic word that makes the world go 'round and which is described often as the mother's milk of politics: money.
Simply put, unless Armstead, Carmichael, and Andes have come into some serious personal wealth or have the proven ability to raise several hundreds of thousands of dollars, their quest for the highest state office seems a bit premature.

After the primary, there will be the need for TV and radio ads, direct mail pieces, and an effective ground game, all of which require big bucks when going up against a Democratic nominee in West Virginia.  Sad but true!

However, these young legislators' service is vitally important to the hopes for a two-party system and is worthy of consideration for higher office in general.  There is no question that Armstead would make a far better Attorney General than Darrell "Judge" McGraw, who has needed thrown out for several years now for all those self-promoting trinkets he's purchased with taxpayer money.

Moreover, wouldn't Carmichael, with his economic sensibilities, make an exceptional State Treasurer?   Finally, a 2012 candidacy for Secretary of State for Andes would be refreshing following the do-nothing years of Natalie Tennant.  One can imagine Andes doing much more with the Elections Fraud Unit there.

These are state offices that are more affordable to contemplate for middle-class politicos. Such offices serve as great training grounds for future Governors and members of Congress.

Still, one has to say that any of these three legislative amigos would be better than former Secretary of State Betty Ireland, whose candidacy continues to befuddle many. Does she have an agenda?  Can she speak beyond the soundbite on important economic issues?

Unless the Republicans can find a well-financed candidate who speaks with their voice on issues ranging from job creation to electricity prices, a Democrat will slip into the Governor's office again, with more of the same for a people desperate for something better.
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