HNN Staff
EDITORIAL:  Success in Gubernatorial Race Comes Down to One Word:  HUSTLE

With now two months before the Special Primary Election, the gaggle of Republican an Democratic candidates running for Governor have an exceptionally difficult task before them.

 How do they distinguish themselves from the pack?  Moreover, how do they get an electorate that is tired of special electioneering to even want to notice their political gymnastics over the next few weeks?


After all, this term will only be for a little over a year, and some heavy hitters in both parties appear to be waiting until 2012 to deploy their energies.  As a result, many voters may decide just to take a pass from politics this entire year, both for the Special Primary and Special General Elections.


But that would be an unfortunate shirking of our civic duty, because the individual who wins this short term will be in a potential catbird seat for the next full-year term, taking West Virginia through 2016.  So this year's contest is quite important, whether we like it or not.


To that end, we hope the cream rises to the top in both parties, and that can only happen if the best candidates also have the requisite hustle needed to both reach as many voters as possible--and to impress them as hardworking.


Former U.S. Senate candidate John Raese impressed people in both parties last year with his relentless, personal campaigning in his campaign van from the moment he got in the race until Election Day.  Raese rose early each day and hit the road, popping up everywhere, oftentimes crisscrossing the state in the same day.  While he fell short on Election Day, it wasn't for lack of effort on his part, and he put a real scare into a man many thought unassailable, Joe Manchin.


A wise military sage once noted that wars are fought because one side thinks they can win.  Somehow, over a dozen people in both major parties, and  one Independent, have convinced themselves that they can win this race for Governor.  Some of them are fooling themselves, while some are preparing for another race in 2012.


But if any of them are true contenders, they need to remember the example of John Raese, a man who hadn't made politics his career and needed to  catch up quickly.  Such a competitor has to hustle to make things happen, to be omnipresent, in both their personal ground game, broadcast media, and  direct mail. 


Now we get to see what these wannabes are made of, and it's a great vetting process.