EDITORIAL: GOP Governor's Race: And Then There Were Two

HNN Staff
Senator Barnes
Senator Barnes

The fact that GOP Governor's Candidate Betty Ireland has not been able to raise sufficient funds for a viable statewide campaign leaves Republican voters here the choice between two candidates:  State Senator Clark Barnes (R-Randolph) and Bill Maloney (R-Monongalia).

Both men have extensive experience in developing successful businesses in West Virginia--Maloney in drilling and Barnes in health services and construction.  Both men speak of their conservative beliefs and their desire to see West Virginia prosper even as they seek to cut the size of state government.

However, Senator Barnes appears to be better equipped for the job of Governor not only because of his six years of experience in the legislature but for another key reason:  his record of making the tough votes on both social and economic issues.  There is no concern of getting a "pig in a poke" with Barnes.  We already know where he has stood on issues of importance in this election.

For example, when it comes to federal government programs and spending, Barnes is quick to point out that he voted against the last two state budges that were subsidized with President Obama's stimulus money.  Barnes knew that this funding would dry up soon, and indeed it has, leaving West Virginia with a heavy burden to balance next year's state budget. 

Barnes was right about not taking stimulus money--it's too bad more of his legislative colleagues didn't have the courage to join him in turning it down.

Barnes also has demonstrated his commitment to property owners in the Marcellus Shale development across West Virginia.  While Barnes is excited about the windfall for all involved, he has been at the forefront of safeguarding our property owners from anyone who might try to take advantage of them.

Finally, Barnes is on record for his unwavering commitment to traditional family values, whether with his 100% pro-life voting record or his own family's personal commitment to adoption.  If elected Governor, there is little doubt that Barnes will use that position as a bully pulpit for the values West Virginians across the board hold dear.  As a husband, father, and grandfather, he has a deep investment in the culture of our state.

Bill Maloney looks like a fine fellow.  But Senator Barnes has the well-rounded quality that West Virginians always prefer in a Governor.  That must be why his nine-county senatorial district elected him their first Republican State Senator since 1929--and re-elected him by a larger majority the second time.

Barnes is a man who can hit the ground running in a state that has been stalled for almost a year now.  His leadership abilities, first developed during his time in the U.S. Army, can be deployed for the state's benefit on Primary Election Day, Saturday, May 14th. 

This year, the Republicans have a candidate with crossover appeal and whom Independents can support, too.

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