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W.Va. state GOP kicks off anti-Jim Justice campaign

BECKLEY, W.Va. — Even before Jim Justice left the stage where he announced his Democratic candidacy for governor Monday, the state Republican Executive Committee had sent e-mails attacking Justice on several fronts, including accusations of not paying fines stemming from violations at his coal mine operations, having tax breaks for events and construction at The Greenbrier and failing to pay businesses that have done work at the White Sulphur Springs resort.

The website JusticeWV.com is dedicated to what the GOP calls “the truth” about Justice. It uses the tried and true of today’s political theater — photo adjustment that leaves Justice’s face in a dark shadow, saying the candidate is “bad for” something and from the GOP side, linking a Democratic candidate with President Barack Obama.

 Do Republicans think Justice is such a formidable candidate that they have essentially begun campaigning for a Democratic primary that’s a year away?

State GOP Chairman Conrad Lucas said Tuesday that the blitz was because they “knew (Justice’s) announcement was going to get a lot of attention.

“It’s necessary voters understand who Jim Justice is,” he said. Lucas did allow that simply because of the money Justice will not have to raise because of his own personal wealth, he is a “formidable opponent.”

Justice, the state’s only billionaire, owns The Greenbrier resort, The Resort at Glade Springs, several coal mine operations and also has farming interests.

Calling him a “liberal billionaire” who “wants to buy the West Virginia governor’s mansion,” the site is a litany of links to news reports dating back as far as 2010…

 

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