The following respected West Virginians have come up missing in the last few months. If anyone sees any reports on these people's whereabouts in the state media, Katie bar the door because it is a sure sign the Apocalypse is on the way.
Russ Weeks, Republican Nominee for Governor: This former Vietnam vet and state senator published a book and has toured the state using personal money. He has probably used a much higher percentage of his assets to run than some multi-millionaire incumbents. Weeks has strong positions against cronyism and corruption, but on any given day could be pushed off the news pages by reports of a cat stuck in a tree. Distinguishing characteristics include blunt honesty and a willingness to challenge the status quo.
Charles Minimah, Republican Nominee for Secretary of State: Another veteran, a successful businessman, and another candidate spending more time meeting the people than his opponent. While his opponent spent her youth in a mascot costume, Minimah was serving his country. Minimah is well known for promoting black heritage in the Kanawha Valley and is determined to help the handicapped have better access to voting. When the national media bashed West Virginia as a state of racists after the Democratic primary, you might think that proud newspapermen and women would have cited this gentleman as proof positive of the opposite. Distinguishing characteristics include a strong desire to continue Secretary Ireland's reforms and preventing the bosses from getting their rotten influence back.
Dan Greear, Republican Nominee for Attorney General: If you get your political news from Phil Kabler, you might assume that Greear's consultant Vic Sprouse was running for some sort of statewide office. Amazingly, Kabler's vendetta against Sprouse gets more attention than any of these people actually running for office this year. If you get your news from the Wall Street Journal, you know that Greear is West Virginia's best chance to overthrow an attorney general infamous even within his own party for questionable practices. Distinguishing characteristics include tremendous speaking ability and a passion for cleaning up state government and how the attorney general's office operates. If you see trial lawyers wandering around looking for job handouts, you will not find Greear in the vicinity.
J. Michael Teets, Republican Nominee for Commissioner of Agriculture: The entire country is entering a revolution in agri-energy. West Virginia should be poised to take a strong role in creating new products as well as providing raw materials. Teets may not have been in office for many, many, many years. However his home is in Hardy County where the capital city of state poultry production is located. Distinguishing characteristics include amazing energy and the constant presence and support of his wife, Joyce.
Jay Wolfe, Republican Nominee for United States Senate: Wolfe can be spotted on the correct side of energy debates. He supports the expansion of drilling for oil to reduce prices and foreign dependence. Wolfe also supports reforming the tax code to promote prosperity for all and making revenue collection more fair. Jay Wolfe is pretty easy to spot. He stands head and shoulder above a lot of politicians.
Beth Walker, Republican Nominee for West Virginia State Supreme Court of Appeals: Walker is an amazing individual among those seeking the position of justice. She regards the law as her guide rather than special interests or personal whims. When she joins Brent Benjamin on the bench, the state will finally have a strong and solid group on the bench dedicated to interpreting law correctly and fairly. Walker has legal experience in a wide variety of issues.
If you just read state newspapers (outside of The State Journal, The Charleston Daily Mail, the Mineral Daily News Tribune, and a few others) you won't know that these people even exist because of the bias that permeates the profession. It is up to you, the voters, to go out and educate yourselves since the press won't do it for you. Look up their websites. See what they stand for as individuals. Read non partisan blogs such as Lincoln Walks at Midnight or partisan outlets such as Change West Virginia or The Republican Gazette. In all these places you will see information that will balance the bias of the state news establishment. You know that every vote for the people described above is a vote against seventy-five years of Ruling Party mediocrity.