EDITORIAL: Welcome to the Political Fray, Bill Maloney

HNN Staff
EDITORIAL:  Welcome to the Political Fray, Bill Maloney
Anytime a new candidate, untouched by politics, enters a race as significant as that of this year's Governor's race, it's a cause for celebration. 
West Virginia needs some fresh ideas and a greater range of choices in the great contests facing us election after election.  Gone are the days of larger-than-life individuals like Arch Moore or Robert Byrd dominating the ballot, time after time.

Now we must look for new leaders to take West Virginia further into the 21st Century.

Bill Maloney, a Republican businessman from Morgantown, was a late entry into the Governor's race, but curiosity abounds about this fiftysomething millionaire who has never run for elected office before.  Frankly, little is known about Maloney, perhaps even in his hometown, as his turnout for his initial campaign announcement was sparse.

However, a trickle of information is coming out.  For example, Maloney's reputation as the owner of a well-regarded drilling company led to him being involved in the rescue of the Chilean miners who were trapped there this past year.  Maloney explains that, had the method used to rescue the miners not worked, his team had the backup plan.  It speaks well of Maloney that he was willing to help out in such a tremendous humanitarian effort.

Nevertheless, West Virginians in both parties, as well as Independents, will want to know more about Maloney's plans for the state than international heroics, starting now.  What does Maloney think about the state's economy?  How about his views on the goings-on in Wisconsin and neighboring Ohio when it comes to collective bargaining for state employees?  Perhaps even more importantly, how do we continue to move our state's infrastructure forward even as we balance the budget-- especially without as many federal grants to help us?

On these issues and many more, Bill Maloney is mute.  He must learn to open his mouth and say something bold yet sensible if he wants to be taken seriously.  Republican primary voters are no pushovers, especially those who follow the issues like the Tea Partiers.

Bland generalities won't work for this crowd, so Bill Maloney and his handlers need to come up with intelligent, somewhat detailed  positions now, or else the curiosity the state's voters have with this newcomer will turn to derision quickly.

We look forward to seeing what Maloney stands for—and what he won’t stand for.

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