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Incoming Senate president cites father’s advice

Charleston Daily Mail photo by Bob Wojcieszak  On Wednesday, after serving in the minority party leadership, Republican businessman William Paul Cole III, seen at his Bluefield Nissan dealership, will become the 49th president of the Senate.
Charleston Daily Mail photo by Bob Wojcieszak
On Wednesday, after serving in the minority party leadership, Republican businessman William Paul Cole III, seen at his Bluefield Nissan dealership, will become the 49th president of the Senate.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — When William Paul Cole III becomes the 49th president of the West Virginia state Senate on Wednesday, he will bring with him a different view and wisdom from his father.

“One thing I have that’s a little bit unique is that business background,” the deep-voiced Cole, R-Mercer, told the Daily Mail last week while sitting inside his Nissan dealership in Bluefield. “I tend to look at things through a business prism.”

His perspective, in large part, has been influenced, not by a career in politics but as a professional businessman.

Cole, 58, currently oversees about 500 employees between five automobile dealerships located in West Virginia and Kentucky, a manufacturing plant in Tennessee and a variety of other business interests.

But he knows that having a business perspective is not simply enough to fix the woes that ail the state.

“It’s so easy, especially for a businessman, to point a finger at all the things that are wrong in West Virginia and things that need to be fixed,” he said.

Cole credits a lesson learned while working for his father, William Paul Cole II, as a big reason he finds himself in the position he’s in today…

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