— *** Newspaper Endorsements 2014 ***—
BLUEFIELD, W.Va. — Voters in West Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District will decide one of the most important and high-profile races in the Mountain State this Nov. 4. Veteran Democrat Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., is facing a strong challenge from Republican Evan Jenkins in a race that has captured the attention of the nation.
Both men recently met with members of the Daily Telegraph’s editorial board where they addressed a multitude of issues ranging from the war on coal, infrastructure needs and job creation. After careful consideration and debate, we endorse Jenkins for election in the 3rd Congressional District.
Jenkins, a former Democrat turned Republican, is a current member of the West Virginia State Senate. He was first elected to serve Cabell and Wayne counties in the West Virginia House of Delegates in 1994 and served three terms. In 2002, the citizens of Cabell and Wayne elected Jenkins to serve in the state Senate, where he is currently serving his third term. With 20 years of service in the state Legislature, Jenkins is by no means a political novice. He is instead an experienced and proven leader. And he makes a strong and compelling case for change.
Jenkins is vowing to do everything possible in the House of Representatives to fight President Barack Obama, the federal EPA and those lawmakers who are trying so hard to destroy the coalfields of southern West Virginia. As a member of the majority party in the House, Jenkins will be in an ideal to position to fight for coal — and he should have the support of his fellow Republicans and some Democrats.
Jenkins also is promising to fight for jobs and critical infrastructure projects in our region, such as the King Coal Highway and the Coalfields Expressway. He understands the deadly prescription drug epidemic we are fighting in West Virginia, and believes it is important to tackle this scourge on multiple fronts. Jenkins promises to make job creation in the 3rd Congressional District one of his top priorities — and he will be uniquely positioned to help the region due to the GOP majority in the House, and possibly the U.S. Senate — come Nov. 5. As a state lawmaker, he is already well versed in the unique challenges and needs of southern West Virginia.
That brings us to Rahall, and his years of seniority in the House. He is currently the top Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. However, that seniority has not translated into much progress for our region where construction remains woefully stalled on both the King Coal Highway and the Coalfields Expressway. Also troubling is Rahall’s continued and stubborn support for President Barack Obama on a variety of other issues — despite the great harm that this administration has done to our region through Obama’s deplorable war on coal. Yet Rahall told us during the editorial board session just last week that he still supports Obama on a number of issues.
Everything Jenkins says makes a lot of sense. Why not elect a lawmaker who will be in the majority — as opposed to the minority — in the U.S. House? Why not elect a lawmaker who doesn’t send mixed signals when it comes to supporting a president who is waging a senseless war on fossil fuels? Why not elect a lawmaker who will stand up for what is right, and challenge that which is wrong?
After 38 years, we believe the hour for change has arrived in West Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District. Too much harm has been done to date. We can’t continue on the same crippling path. We are hurting in southern West Virginia.
When voters head to the polls on Nov. 4, we strongly urge them to cast a ballot for Evan Jenkins in West Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District. We believe it is time for a change.
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