Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Cole Would Benefit from Retail Politics ; Senate Leader Needs Strong Ground Game to Boost Statewide Name Recognition

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Cole Would Benefit from Retail Politics ; Senate Leader Needs Strong Ground Game to Boost Statewide Name Recognition

Article excerpt

Baseball season is upon us, and the parallels that sport has with politics are numerous. For example, baseball fans naturally look forward to a new starting pitcher in the lineup. They are eager to see the heat he can throw to the opposing teams batters.

So too with new leaders in a state political party. Many hopes are placed on their shoulders, especially for a big game.

With no primary opposition, state Senate President Bill Cole is the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party for governor this year.

Cole was given a huge gift from Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and 1st District Congressman David McKinley last year when they opted out of running for the Republican nomination for governor. This cleared the field for Cole, giving him some breathing space to continue managing the Senate while running for governor.

However, Cole must confront one other big opponent, the sooner he does so the better in his quest to be governor. Coles opponent is not another candidate. Its not his ideas, which are sound Republican concepts for jumpstarting the states economy.

No, Coles opponent is his fame quotient outside his state Senate district.

While Cole is now known to the statewide media and business community, hes also a one-term state senator who is unknown to large sections of the state.

A contested primary takes care of this for a partys nominee, thanks to the media coverage of the various candidates. Look at the bonanza of stories coming out now on the Democratic gubernatorial candidates: Senate Minority Leader Jeff Kessler, businessman Jim Justice, and former U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin.

Just by running in a contested race, theyre much better known statewide than they were a few months ago.

That Democratic gubernatorial primary contest is beginning to generate some serious interest in the public lately, despite a slow start. Cole should take note that each of his three would-be Democratic opponents start off with greater name recognition in at least certain areas of the state than he does.

Cole simply hasnt been around very long just one term in the state Senate. This can be part of his appeal, of course: hes not a career politician. …

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