EDITORIAL: How About "Governor Barnes"? Elect a Seasoned Leader in the GOP Primary on May 14th

HNN Staff
Clark Barnes
Clark Barnes

Something is happening out there in the Republican-friendly counties across West Virginia.  While Bill Maloney experienced an initial spike in his numbers, due to his strategy to put TV ads up early, interest in Maloney has faded.  One veteran talk radio host explained it this way.   "People thought Maloney might be the one at first, but that's changed now.  He just didn't make much of an impression when he had his chance.  No excitement generated."

Now not everyone can be a first-class speaker.  But from the reports we're hearing, Maloney's problem is not just his delivery.  While people admire his success in drilling, his stump speech seems like something that came down in canned talking points from political consultants in D.C.

Yes, Maloney says the right things for a Republican Primary:  for example, he's pro-life and pro-business. But with the exception of his business background, no personal narrative emerges for his positions.  We never hear how he arrived at his political beliefs, and because he has no record to check on the issues, we just have to take his word for it.   Maloney is the Instant Candidate--just add water.

What a difference from the story of Republican State Senator Clark Barnes of Elkins.  Everything about Senator Barnes' background finds its way into his speeches and other conversations with voters.   Barnes will tell you that he's pro-business because he's seen up close and personal what it's like to start not one but two small businesses in West Virginia.

You see, Barnes not only knows how to meet a payroll.  He knows how to make his entrepreneurial efforts succeed in a state like West Virginia, which has a business climate that needs some serious work.  That's one reason why Barnes is running--because he knows first hand how much work the business climate needs here.

Senator Barnes is also 100% pro-life and pro-family, both in his voting record in the State Senate, but also in life.   He and his wife, Debbie, have raised four children.  But they also have adopted two of the several foreign exchange students who stayed in their home.   That's some serious family values: the Barnes have not only opened their homes for a year to these young people from foreign lands but their family forever.

Finally, while Bill Maloney seems to decry any public servant as a "career politician," Senator Barnes embraces the experience he's gained from his time a part-time legislator in the State Senate.  Barnes entered politics later in life than most, in his early fifties.   That was fortunate for his constituents, because his maturity allowed himself to focus on his nine-county district's needs.

Now a youthful 60, Barnes has such a keen grasp of so many of the top issues facing the state--job creation, slimming down the state budget, highway repair, and education--that he will be able to make the most of the remainder of the last year of Manchin's term.  He knows how to challenge the legislature--and also how to work with them to get things done.  Barnes will need no on-the-job training.  He's a seasoned, experienced leader who can share the credit and bring a natural optimism for West Virginia back again.

Republican voters looking for the best candidate to send into the October general election this year need look no further than Clark Barnes.  He has a proven track record at being able to interpret his conservative principles to friendly Democratic and Independent voters, as well as his Republican base.  Barnes has already won two elections in a State Senate district that has a clear majority of Democratic voters.  In fact, he is the first Republican elected from his area of the state since...1929.

That should tell you something.  Clark Barnes knows how to communicate with voters, listening first, then sharing his views candidly.  That's a formula that can work in this year's general election, too.  Senator Barnes is the best choice--and the best chance--Republicans have this year for Governor.  Check out his campaign website at: www.clarkbarnesforgovernor.com