Governor's Race Tidbits

HNN Staff
Governor's Race Tidbits

While interest in the West Virginia Governor's Race is not exactly white hot, the candidates in both parties are giving it their best shot out on the campaign trail.  Here are some vignettes from the mashed potato circuit for the gaggle of candidates, all vying for your attention for a term that will last just over a year:

  • Republican candidates Betty Ireland and Mitch Carmichael accidentally got into a mild fracas at the recent Roane County Lincoln Day Dinner. Ireland was complaining about the internet provider, Frontier, in her remarks.  Her comments came shortly after the arrival of one of her opponents, Mitch Carmichael--a Frontier employee.   When Carmichael took his turn to speak, he explained to Ireland about Frontier's efforts to provide better service. According to one observer present, Carmichael also gave Ireland another dig before his remarks were up.
  • Who does Earl Ray's TV spots?   The Acting Governor has looked hale and hearty out on the campaign trail, even ebullient.  But in his first TV ad of the campaign, Tomblin has bags under his eyes as he speaks in front of the gold dome at the end of the ad.   Also, the Tomblin camp seems to have taken some lessons from "Big John" Perdue when it comes to camera angles.  Both Tomblin and Perdue seem to be fond of looking like the Jolly Green Giant, with the cameraman laying down on the ground looking up at the heroic Earl Ray and Big John.  (Note to both candidates: this is one of the most tired camera angles of all time.)
  • Natalie Tennant is raising the ire of conservatives statewide with her acceptance of help from Emily's List, a national pro-choice organization that helps pro-choice women candidates nationwide.  Tennant is seen as beholden to the group for its financial help, without which she may not have been able to put up her first TV ad of the season.  Said one conservative activist, "This is really a red flag being waved in the face of pro-lifers in both political parties in this state.  West Virginia is much more pro-life than pro-choice, and Natalie will pay a steep price if she gets out of the Democratic primary."
  • State Senator Clark Barnes is taking Bill Maloney's criticisms of political leaders with any form of government experience in stride.  One of Maloney's main talking points, along with his Chilean expedition, is that he is not a "career politician."   "Well, I'm not a career politician, so that doesn't faze me," said Barnes.  "I've served a term and a half as a citizen legislator, and I'm glad of that experience.  The bulk of my time is working on my two businesses up in Elkins.   I think I have the right balance to be Governor."
  • Finally, former Delegate Larry Faircloth brought down the house at a recent Martinsburg Tea Party gathering, which was also attended by Clark Barnes and Betty Ireland.  In a Question and Answer session towards the end of the meeting, Faircloth rushed to answer with detailed discussion points about some kind of economic development issue.   Only problem?  The questioner had not yet asked her question, which was on a different topic.


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