EDITORIAL: Clark Barnes: The Coach Whose Eye is on the Ball

HNN Staff
EDITORIAL:  Clark Barnes: The Coach Whose Eye is on the Ball

While Bill Maloney and Betty Ireland are clubbing each other over the head like baby seals, many disturbed Republican voters statewide are joining with those who have already cast their lot with State Senator Clark Barnes of Elkins.  Who can blame them?

For one thing, Senator Barnes has more relevant experience for the job of Governor than Maloney and Ireland combined.  In addition to building up two highly successful businesses in Elkins, Barnes has used his term and a half in the State Senate to great effect. 

Only Barnes has the knowledge that comes from deep study of the state budget, where to make cuts in it, and how to get our state moving again with a pro-business jobs climate. As he puts it in his calls going out now, he won't need any on-the-job training.

Plus, Barnes is a proven vote-getter, having upset a prominent Democratic State Senator in Randolph County, then beating him more soundly the next time around just two years ago. 

That former Democratic State Senator was none other than Mike Ross, a key member of Acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin's leadership team, a powerful Transportation Committee Chair.  No one ever thought a Republican first-timer could beat the sixteen-year veteran, Mike Ross.

But that is exactly what Barnes did. And when Ross came back for more four years later, even spending close to a million dollars in an attempt to get his old seat back, Barnes whipped him worse the second time across his nine-county district, even taking a great share of the Democratic and Independent votes along the way.

So how does Clark Barnes do it?  What is the secret to a man who became the first Republican State Senator from his part of West Virginia since...1929.

"I talk with people, we listen to one another," Barnes says simply.  "The people in my district, like folks across West Virginia, know what the problems are.  We all do, don't we?  We need more open government that belongs again to the people, not the old boy network and their lobbyist friends. The last time I checked, this was the State of West Virginia, not the State of Gold Dome Insiders."

Amen to that.   State Senator Clark Barnes's conversational style is part Abraham Lincoln and part Ross Perot. As for leadership style, those who know about his successful coaching career at Elkins High School can tell you that Barnes has a tremendous singleminded focus:  to serve West Virginia for whatever capacity the people tap him.

He's surprised people before. With the savage fighting going on between Maloney and Ireland, be part of the surprise on Saturday May 14th.  Vote for Clark Barnes--for the sake of a better jobs climate and for your families. 

We've waited long enough.  One of our own is ready to serve--at last.

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