Wanted: One Fearless Governor

HNN Staff
Gov. Arthur Boreman
Gov. Arthur Boreman

Sometimes, we have to go way back in our state's history to find the kind of leader we would like to have again today.  We nominate our first Governor Arthur Boreman of Parkersburg as this necessary role model. And we find two men, one from each party, who both possess the one attribute Governor Boreman had in spades and what we need again desperately today:  fearlessness.

We'll get to the two current candidates in a moment, but first, let's give Governor Boreman his due.  Here was a man whose intellect and gut instinct told him to side with the Union and defy Mother Virginia.  If the Confederate armies had been able to sweep up and recapture more of the western counties that became West Virginia, you can bet that at the top of the hanging list would be the new state's Governor Boreman.

Boreman was fearless, like all those who helped form the new State of West Virginia.  But he also tempered that courage with a good heart, as seen when he paid for the new state's bills out of his own personal checking account.  Governor Boreman cared about our state and its people.

Currently, we're sure many voters are finding it difficult to figure out which candidate deserves their vote.  We can only offer our ten cents on the matter, but in Republican Clark Barnes and Democrat John Perdue, at least each party has someone with that combination of fearlessness and love of West Virginia that Governor Boreman possessed.

Some critics are nagging the fans of State Treasurer John Perdue for running ads that show Perdue strongly identifying with those on fixed incomes who have higher electricity bills this year.  What can Perdue really do about that, they ask.  But one of the first rules of political leadership is showing your constituents that you're right in the boat with them, paddling together, striving to see if some solutions to a problem can be found.

We don't know if Perdue can find any irregularities among the electrical companies that serve West Virginia.  But we are willing to bet that a lot of Democratic primary voters are glad to know that he is ready to be on the case.


On the Republican side, State Senator Clark Barnes of Elkins has a similar fighting spirit that many discontented Republicans and Independents find attractive.  The economic news is not good, and unemployment remains high.  Barnes says what every Republican candidate says, namely that he wants to create a business climate in West Virginia that creates better-paying jobs.

But then Barnes takes it one important step further, rallying his party in saying that he will stand up to the federal government anytime that it starts to intrude on our rights and privileges as West Virginians.  He says it soberly, seriously--and with a manner that says he really won't back down when it comes to fighting for us.  Barnes explains in his stump speech that this will begin with examining very closely the rules handed out by the Obama Administration's EPA, with its exacting standards that are hurting our coal, timber, and agricultural sectors.


Mired as we are in this protracted recession, West Virginians are reaching out for a leader who can give us our self-confidence back as a people. Perdue and Barnes are doing their best to do that, each in their own way.

Another Civil War story is instructive for times like this.  Following President Lincoln's appointment of General Ulysses S. Grant to head the Union Army, Grant's tactics came under some heavy criticism.  When Lincoln had heard an earful of such talk one evening, he finally put the issue to rest by saying, "But I can't let Grant go. He fights!"

Don't be surprised if the two parties nominate the two men who have shown more fight in them than all of their competitors combined:  John Perdue and Clark Barnes.   Vote in Early Voting through next week or on Election Day next Saturday, May 14th.


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