Republicans: Folk is the choice
Let’s be honest.
West Virginia is in dire straits. An already fragile economy is now in freefall thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. This is not the time to let unmerited optimism dictate leadership decisions.
The state cannot long endure a governor whose primary plan for renewal is to be bailed out by the federal government. That’s short-sighted and wrong.
We have long enjoyed the aw-shucks leadership style of incumbent Republican Governor Jim Justice. We have found him just as friendly and personable in one-on-one situations as in his public performances. At heart, he’s a good and decent man. We really think that with Jim Justice, what you see is what you get.
But what we’ve gotten lately just doesn’t lend itself to endorsing another Justice term. Instead, we recommend former legislator Michael Folk.
Nobody ever has to guess where Folk stands. He’ll be front and center stating his positions and backing them with action. There will be no secret “man behind the curtain” like Justice’s Bray Carey, who calls most of the shots in the current administration. In a Folk statehouse, there’s no question the governor himself will run the show. Voters deserve that.
For West Virginia Republicans, Folk is also more solidly Republican than their governor. Justice committed what we call “voter fraud” when he switched his party registration from Democrat to Republican shortly after taking office. His devotion to GOP ideals is highly suspect.
At last, voters get to pass judgment on Justice’s performance as governor. We think GOP partisans will find it lacking.
Folk was a fireball in the legislature. Outspoken and confident, we clearly do not agree on every issue. But Folk is in tune with a Republican constituency that values freedom, the right to assemble and hold onto their guns. All of that appears in jeopardy with the dictator-like posture Justice has assumed during the pandemic.
When churches cannot freely assemble for ANY reason, the lifeblood of liberty is clearly in danger.
The constitution does not give Americans and West Virginians the right to free speech and assembly EXCEPT when there’s a pandemic. The right to free enterprise has been gravely curtailed by Justice’s executive orders as well.
One of the first things we expect the 2021 legislative session to address is the governor’s right to govern by executive order. We trust Folk as the right man to recommend further limits to that power. God given freedom is at stake.
Republicans are not without good candidates. We realize that a third contender, former Commerce Commissioner Woody Thrasher would do a good job. Burdened with apparent support for fee increases galore while he was Commissioner as well as a Chinese coal deal gone sour, Thrasher is unlikely to garner the nomination.
Folk will be brash, because he is. He will be outspoken, because he is. He will lead, because he’s a leader. His candor and resolve will do much to lift our state from its dismal state.
For Republicans and others who request the GOP ballot, Michael Folk is the right choice for Governor.