by Ron Gregory
CHARLESTON – Williamson attorney and House of Delegates member Justin Marcum officially filed for election to the state senator earlier in the week. The Mingo Democrat will be seeking the seat now held by Republican Mark Maynard.
Marcum is an active voice in local and state politics as he has served six years in the House. His legislative service has been filled with numerous successes, including passing bills to help seniors, education, veterans, and teachers. Marcum has also fought and succeeded in bringing jobs to be the area and fighting the drug epidemic.
The delegate was accompanied at his filing in the secretary of state’s office by his wife and two children, numerous friends and family members, and roughly 25 current legislators from both the house and senate. The room was so crowded that it overflowed into the hallway. Applause could be heard throughout the west wing as Marcum completed his paperwork.
State Senate Minority Leader, Roman Prezesio was present and said, “Justin Marcum is a real leader who will be a huge asset to the State Senate.”
Delegate Ken Hicks of Wayne County noted that “Justin Marcum is a real leader and fighter for southern West Virginia who will do well for the 6th District.
Ed Evans, delegate from McDowell and Mercer counties followed up that he supports Marcum for Senate, “trusts him, believes in him, and looks forward to working with him for all of Southern West Virginia. Justin has southern West Virginia in his blood and I believe in him.”
Republican Delegate Bill Hamilton from Upshur County was present and called Marcum a “fighter who doesn’t care to stand up and debate the issues.”
Delegate Ralph Rodighiero of Logan said Marcum is a huge advocate for jobs and southern West Virginia and will do a tremendous job in the Senate. Many officials from Mingo, Wayne, Mercer, and McDowell counties have also issued their support, Marcum said.
Marcum told the media he is dedicated to Southern West Virginia and being in the senate gives him the necessary tools to fight harder. “I have the support of the fellow Senators and plan on using my legislative experience to make southern West Virginia a better place. The King Coal Highway is my number one priority,” he said.. “With the completion of the King Coal Highway, it will give us the tools necessary to really, I mean really, change and diversify our economy and bring jobs to the area.”
The King Coal Highway has always been a priority, he said. Marcum said he has talked with employers and has already secured interest in many companies who would consider locating to Southern West Virginia if the Highway was complete. Marcum believes that the completion of this road will be the necessary piece of the puzzle to really bring jobs to the area.
Marcum described himself as “an independent voice for the middle class.” His voting record is evidence that he is always fighting for the average West Virginian, he added. Marcum’s has been endorsed by the West Virginians for Life, the NRA (A+ rating), WV Coal Association, UMWA, AFL-CIO, American Federation of Teachers, WV Seniors PAC, WV Federation for Small Business, and others.
Marcum is also known for his donations to local high schools. He was instrumental in the new athletic fields at Tug Valley High School. There was an unfortunate mud slide in the Nolan area and Marcum responded to that disaster with the idea that the dirt be used to build the fields. He also secured the necessary permits from the state as well as the contracts to build the fields. Marcum even purchased a new scoreboard and helped personally lay the sod on the field. Additionally, he had Mingo Central’s basketball court refinished as it was in disrepair, helped the football team as their lead sponsor, donated to many little leagues and other groups for youth. His efforts extend to Crum, Tolsia, Mt. View High School, Bluefield area schools, and others. Marcum told the media that he loves to give back to the area schools because “it’s all for the kids.”
Principal Kelly Stanley, teacher Robert Thompson, Principal Kathryn Moore, and other school officials have issued their support for Marcum and said he would be good for education. Marcum’s wife, Latisha, who doesn’t get involved in politics very often, wanted to express her love for her husband, how proud she was of him, and reiterated that “Justin really loves what he does, loves standing up for southern West Virginia, and is dedicated to the future.”
Marcum operates his own law offices in Williamson and served six years as an assistant prosecutor. In that capacity, he was assigned to prosecute drug felonies. He was also named as one of America’s Top 100 attorneys and is chairman of the Public Defender Board. He is a deacon at the First Baptist Church of Williamson and is an avid hunter and outdoorsman.
He and his wife have two children, Tenley and Kiptyn.