We sent out a three page list of questions to gauge the candidates' conservative principles. Some questions had a very conservative aspect whereas a few could have been answered either way by a good and principled conservative candidate. Every candidate for the Republican nomination scored very high on conservative principles, although some scored slightly higher than others.
Next we had to look at electability. Three candidates have emerged from the pack. David McKinley and Sarah Minear are well funded. Mac Warner may have less money, but he seems to have as committed of a set of volunteers as the other two. All three would provide a powerful opponent for the eventual Democratic nominee. Even some of the less well-funded candidates, such as Tom Stark, may have a good shot with the current mood and national money behind them.
Experience matters. Again, all three of these individuals have tremendous experience. Sarah Minear represented her senatorial district very well for many years. Many of those most closely involved in GOP politics in her district are powerfully loyal to her and respect her political service. David McKinley served as Republican Party chair and also worked hard as a state legislator. Mac Warner spent many years in the United States Army traveling the world, then returned to West Virginia to establish businesses in the Morgantown area.
Of the three candidates, two have committed themselves to visiting this area in person. Sarah Minear and Mac Warner both have visited the Potomac Highlands multiple times. We saw both speak in person at a Meet the Candidates forum in Fort Ashby. Both candidates conveyed a sense of strength, ability and leadership. Mac Warner and Sarah Minear have also both demonstrated a strong concern for the portion of the Potomac Highlands that lies within the First District.
So we whittled it down to two and must choose between them. Republicans in the First District have put forth a powerful field, one of the strongest for an office that I remember. All of the GOP contenders are good conservatives. Four of them are running strong campaigns, three of them seem to have very good organizations, especially in the Potomac Highlands. Of those candidates who have come in person to this region repeatedly, Minear and Warner present the stronger image and have tremendous experience, albeit in different fields.
So it comes down to Minear and Warner. I want to stress that either one of these two, and also McKinley, would be great candidates. I would have no problem doing what I could for any of them. However the slight edge goes to Mac Warner due to his strong military background. With the nation still at war (whether the media remembers it or not) having congressional representatives in place that understand the military from the inside helps tremendously for many reasons.
I have met Sarah Minear and, if elected, believe she would make a great congressional representative. I have heard positive things about McKinley. If you could endorse more than one, I'd not hesitate to do so. Minear, McKinley, and Warner all bring experience and skill to campaigning and Congress. However, you can only endorse a single candidate and that will go to Mac Warner.
Now for the Democratic nominee in the First Congressional District. We will endorse no one at this time. Mike Oliverio is a good conservative Democrat, but must pledge publicly to not vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker should he win election. She has harmed West Virginia and its people considerably and needs to go.
Second Congressional District: This one's easy. We support Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito for re-election. No one has fought harder for West Virginia since the Obama Administratiuon started its relentless attacks on mining and manufacturing.
14th Senatorial: Also easy. Senator Dave Sypolt has represented his district admirably since winning election. He returns to Mineral County on a regular basis and is responsive to voter concerns. Sypolt has leadership qualities that could serve him well in higher office, should he ever decide to seek it. He is a strong Republican legislator and we enthusiastically endorse him
On the Democratic side we endorse the personable Glynis Board.
Finally we get to the races for House of Delegates.
In the 48th Delegate District we only received one response and that was from incumbent Allen Evans. Evans has a good legislative record and has worked hard to benefit the entire region. A local mayor outside the 48th noted that Evans was very helpful in securing help for his town. When looking at the Republican legislative "team," Evans helps considerably with his knowledge and experience in agriculture. Our enthusiastic endorsement goes to Allen Evans.
In the 49th Delegate District we endorse Gary Howell. Howell has been involved in regional transportation development issues for several years. He has worked on the U. S. 50 committee and has researched alternative and cost reducing ways to finance Corridor H. Howell spends a great deal of time researching public policy. Since Republican legislators do not have their own researcher in Charleston, Howell can add that talent to the team in Charleston.
We received no responses from the Democratic candidates in the 49th.
In the 50th Delegate District we are happy to endorse Ruth Rowan. Rowan's years of teaching experience make her a leader among Republicans in crafting education policies. Her husband also brings his decades of teaching experience to Charleston to help support Delegate Rowan. They make an outstanding team and represent their district well.
On the Democratic side of this race we will endorse Joseph Moreland over Alan "Mitch" Davis. Moreland responded to the survey and has a fairly conservative lean.
In the 51st Delegate District, incumbent Daryl Cowles receives the endorsement on the Republican side. He has amassed a strongly conservative voting record that represents his district well.
There of course are endorsements for the primary election cycle. We will run endorsements again for the general election at the start of early voting.
Early voting has started across the state. Now go out and vote!!!!!!!