MORGANTOWN – Woody Thrasher, who Gov Jim Justice forced out as Commerce Secretary last year, is said to be seriously considering running for Governor. Thrasher won’t comment on his possible candidacy, but the smart money is on him getting in the race.
Jim Justice and Joe Manchin are big men — literally and figuratively. They dominate state politics. And, although they once played on the same team and enjoyed each other’s support, they are now rivals, set on a potential collision course in 2020.
CHARLESTON – The 2019 regular session of the West Virginia Legislature came to an end at midnight Saturday, and just in time. It’s hard to recall when there was such acrimony among lawmakers under the Capitol dome.
CHARLESTON – Breaking news: The other day, state Supreme Court Chief Justice Beth Walker and Justices Tim Armstead and Evan Jenkins were having lunch together in the cafeteria in the basement of the state Capitol, and they paid for their own meals!
MORGANTOWN – Months before the 2018 General Election, politicos wondered how Democratic Senator Joe Manchin could win re-election in a state that had flipped to red and given Donald Trump a 42-point victory over Hillary Clinton. Early on, Manchin was tagged with the “vulnerable Democrat” label.
MORGANTOWN – The opening sentences of Robin Davis’s letter of resignation as a state Supreme Court Justice read as follows: “I deliver this statement today in dismay, disbelief, and in sadness. I feel profound grief for the State of West Virginia given the current state of affairs.”
MORGANTOWN – One of the books in my office that I reference often is by Allen Loughry. “Don’t Buy Another Vote. I Won’t Pay for a Landslide. The Sordid and Continuing History of Political Corruption in West Virginia.”
CHARLESTON – The State Capitol was buzzing with speculation and rumors last week about the West Virginia Supreme Court and a federal grand jury investigation. Reporters were busy trying to separate fact from fiction, and that was a challenge.
MORGANTOWN – West Virginia MetroNews statewide correspondent Brad McElhinny reported last Friday, “a rumor has been circulating in recent days that federal authorities have been interviewing (State Supreme) Court officials.”
MORGANTOWN – West Virginia’s political migration from blue to red means the Republican Party increasingly faces prospects of contested Primary Elections. Last week, West Virginia Wesleyan Political Science Professor Robert Rupp wrote, “As recently as a decade ago the idea of a contentious Republican primary was unthinkable given the weak state of the GOP state party.”