We are fast approaching another General Election to choose leaders at the local, state and national levels.
It would be easy to say this is an important election for West Virginia, but in all reality every election is important — not just for a particular town, county or state, but for our country as a whole.
What should be one of our most cherished rights as American adults, the right to vote and participate in picking our elected public servants, has been backburnered by far too many, for far too long in the United States.
It’s up to each and every registered voter to reverse this trend. Many times in this space, and many more times in the future, will you see us encouraging, imploring people to register and then to vote.
It truly is part of the heart of democracy.
That said, we also often do whatever we can to inform voters about who the candidates are and how they stand on particular issues and what they believe in.
Through in-depth interviews, printing of free profiles submitted by the candidates themselves, and promotion and coverage of candidate forums, we have tried to help further educate voters.
This entire process has also allowed us to look deeper into who these candidates are.
No candidate has ever presented a perfect slate of credentials and nobody can agree with them on every single point. However, some do offer enough positives that outweigh what their opponent may bring to the table.
Not often do we utilize this platform to endorse unless we feel strongly that one particular candidate is absolutely the best choice, in our opinion.
This year we are endorsing four candidates. All four have demonstrated an ability to lead and to represent West Virginia’s best interests and therefore we are offering our support.
For U.S. Senate, incumbent Democrat Joe Manchin continues to fight the good fight in Washington and represents many of the values that the majority of West Virginians subscribe to. His demeanor and approach to tough issues leaves us with the belief that his peers should be looking to him to help bridge the gap and put our country back on the right fiscal path.
In the race for the Third Congressional District seat, during the last three-plus decades incumbent Democrat Nick Rahall has worked his way into a position where his voice is heard on Capitol Hill. While our confidence in Congress as a whole is shaky at best, we are convinced Rahall has southern West Virginia at the top of his mind when making critical decisions.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin earns our backing in the race for the state’s chief executive. Tomblin has been at it for a long time, and, among other things, his leadership over the last decade as Senate president helped to put West Virginia back on solid financial ground and it speaks volumes about his ability to guide our state the next four years.
West Virginia has had the same Agriculture commissioner for a long time. That will change in this election. In picking a new person to lead this department, we need someone with knowledge of the agriculture business, a desire to promote and grow the industry, all while being fiscally responsible and responsive.
Democrat Walt Helmick’s many years of public service, including his current work in the state Senate that has been highlighted by strong, but fair financial management practices, has allowed him to foster several good relationships across West Virginia, especially with farmers. We believe he is the right choice in this race.
In the end, no matter whom you decide upon in any race, the most critical, most American thing you can do is get out and vote.