Senator Clark Barnes
Senator Clark Barnes

Let's face it:  political food fights, especially in a primary election, can be interesting to watch--to a point.  But after awhile, the sideshow that oftentimes occurs between two candidates demonstrates a lack of focus by them.  The voters end up asking each other, "Do these clowns really care about our issues?

In the current Republican race for Governor,  two candidates are slugging it out, not so much on the issues but just on each other's chins.  But a third candidate is still determined to stick to his script, talking with the voters across the state about possible solutions for our sluggish economy, how to streamline our state government budget, and demonstrating a determination to hear the people's concerns on issues like road repairs and education.

That adult in this GOP primary contest is State Senator Clark Barnes, 60 years old with the fighting spirit of a young thoroughbred.  Barnes has a keen sense of how the people feel about such negative politicking.  As he explains, he had the same complaints all of his life before he got into politics six years ago--and he still has the same criticisms.

"Look, these are serious issues that impact West Virginia lives," said Barnes in a recent interview.  "When candidates start to forget the voters in favor of throwing mud at each other to make a point or even just to cause a wound, it's not only meanspirited.  It's a huge distraction from the people's business."

"I will be spending the balance of this primary doing what I've been doing from the beginning of this race," said Barnes.   "I'll be listening,  I'll be sharing my conservative record on all the issues, and yes, I'll be asking for their vote.  I always do that, because people deserve to be asked for their support, not just taken for granted."

Senator Barnes represents nine counties in the Eastern part of West Virginia.  It's a rural district where people are neighborly and don't take kindly to unnecessary brawls or cutting remarks.   He has established himself as the adult in the GOP's field of candidates, and we are convinced he would strive to conduct himself as both a strong conservative and as a gentleman in the Governor's office.

As for those who enjoy bickering over addressing the issues?  Well, they can continue exercising their freedom of speech--just not on the people's dime.

Perhaps they can continue their debate as citizens, not officeholders, after this primary is over.