— *** Newspaper Endorsements 2014 ***—
BECKLEY, W.Va. — The momentous news out of Raleigh County on Thursday was just what we have been waiting for.
A major commitment from a prosperous and growing airline to provide passenger service from Raleigh County to Charlotte, N.C. The announcement by the same airline company that it will be moving its maintenance hub to the airport, adding 50 high-paying jobs to the community.
Added to those major events, we got word that the new Mega-Site has completed a land deal near Ghent and will move forward with a visionary plan for an industrial and technology park to benefit the region.
There are dozens of people who have worked long and hard to make these major developments a reality, and we salute each of the men and women who made this happen. But there is one person who deserves much of the credit for being the force behind this good news.
U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall of Beckley.
West Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District candidates have been working hard to convince voters that they are the one to represent we the people in 18 southern counties. Some of that campaigning has been particularly robust, with all the candidates engaging in partisan and personal attacks on each other. But through the smoke of modern-day campaigning, we see a clear choice among the candidates.
We believe more than ever that West Virginia and the people of the 3rd Congressional District need Congressman Rahall to continue his fight for coal, transportation, highways and bridges, airports, water, sewer, flood control and more.
He has established himself as committed to expanding tourism in the region, as well as protecting our environment and our precious rights to hunt and fish.
Congressman Rahall currently serves as ranking member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, a crucial committee as we continue our efforts to diversify southern West Virginia’s economy. When it comes to seniority, Congressman Rahall ranks among the top members of the House, an increasingly critical fact when it comes to making sure West Virginia is not overlooked when it comes to federal spending.
Congressman Rahall is a commonsense politician who has demonstrated that he believes in teamwork, and has often shown his willingness to reach out to opposition Republicans to get things done.
He is an honorary member of the United Mine Workers of America, and a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, which has given him an “A” rating.
This is a time of transition for southern West Virginia. While we believe coal certainly has a future as part of the nation’s energy solution, we have seen how coal can become a political pawn to various special interests. To us, it makes it all the more critical that we continue our efforts to diversify our regional economy.
What transpired at Raleigh County Memorial Airport on Thursday is a major step in that direction.
But to enable us to continue to move forward, we need the experience and the seniority of Congressman Nick Rahall as our representative in the next Congress.
After all these years, we know where Nick stands.
We stand with him.
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