Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Governor ; Compelling Choices

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Governor ; Compelling Choices

Article excerpt

THREE candidates, each with his own strengths, are running for the Democratic nomination to be West Virginias next governor. In the order that they filed for office:

* Jim Justice says he loves West Virginia, and we believe him. He runs 97 companies and shows his ability to think creatively and innovatively beyond the state's borders. We were as thrilled as anyone when he bought The Greenbrier resort and brought it back from the edge of bankruptcy.

Perhaps anyone might have thought of bringing the PGA Tour to the state, although Justice actually did, but how many would think in new directions, such as the New Orleans Saints spring training camp or the medical institute he is planning for Greenbrier County? We like that he dreams big, something the state needs.

As he asks West Virginians for their votes, we hope that he pays off his overdue taxes, fines and bills, so important to other businesses and local governments.

Justice is right when he says West Virginia has not begun to capitalize on its tourism potential, and his goal of nurturing (and marketing!) sustainable West Virginia agricultural crops is long overdue.

We can easily believe that he is much loved by the Greenbrier County high school students he coaches in basketball.

* Booth Goodwin, originally from Ripley and now of Charleston, was most recently a U.S. attorney, where he distinguished himself by prosecuting former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship, all while continuing to prosecute political corruption and crime. That record pretty well speaks to his values. He deserves credit for the Freedom Industries prosecution, too, but he left office before seeing that case through, and the outcome suffered for it.

Goodwin wants to carefully review state spending, to look for savings and to make it easier for businesses to comply with necessary regulations. In addition to pursuing traditional economic development projects, he stresses the value of helping small businesses, who account for most of the jobs in the state. …

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