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A look at who’s funding the next WV governor

Charleston Gazette-Mail graphic
Charleston Gazette-Mail graphic

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Bill Cole is funded by business. Booth Goodwin is funded by lawyers. Jim Justice is funded by himself. And Jeff Kessler has struggled to find funding.

Those are the broad takeaways from an analysis of campaign finance disclosures filed by the four men who want to be governor of West Virginia, an analysis that, for the first time, shows what industries are funding the candidates.

Campaign finance has emerged as a crucial issue in the presidential campaign. The Republican frontrunner, Donald Trump, regularly touts his largely self-funded campaign as evidence that he is above outside influences.

His response to criticism that he has previously donated money to Hillary Clinton gets to the heart of what many people see as the purpose of large political donors.

“That was because of the fact that I’m in business,” he said of the donations. “It was for business.”

On the Democratic side, the corrupting role of money in politics is a central theme of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ surprisingly successful campaign.

Sanders constantly touts that his campaign does not have a super PAC and his $27 average donation has become a rallying cry for his supporters.

None of West Virginia’s gubernatorial candidates are similarly funded by small money donations…

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