Connect with us

Editorial

Gregory’s Web – December 4, 2022

Published

on

Ron Gregory Political Columnist - WV Statewide News

Gregory’s Web for 12/04/22

by Ron Gregory

It seems this would be a great time to announce that we’re going to announce next week when we will announce our full scale 24/7 coverage of the 2024 election.

By doing so, we follow in the footsteps of Secretary of State Mac Warner. In case you somehow missed it, Warner recently issued a lengthy letter saying he was announcing that in January 2023 he will likely announce that he’s running for governor.

An announcement that there will be an announcement? What will they think of next?

Warner went on in the letter to list all the reasons he should win the Republican nomination, in his unbiased opinion.

Not the least of those concerns is that the Secretary and his wife, Debbie, want a better life for all West Virginians but especially their children and grandchildren. 

Mrs. Warner was just elected to the House of Delegates as a Republican from Monongalia County so the family has many political ties and aspirations.

Advertisement

Mac Warner apparently believes that having a family member at every level of government will guarantee a return or continuation of the Good Old Days. I’m

One of Mac’s brothers, the late George Blackburn “Buffy” Warner, Jr. was himself a legislator. Another brother, Monty, was the 2004 GOP nominee for governor and brother Kris Warner was state Republican Chair. 

Yet another brother, Kasey, was U.S. Attorney for the Southern West Virginia district under President George W. Bush.

Finally, their father, the late George  Blackburn “Brud” Warner was once a Kanawha County Justice of the Peace.

Mac Warner is one of the entirely Republican board of public works that committed to support for term limits.

While the legislature did not pass the two-term limit to even put it before the voters, at least some statewide elected officials took the pledge to heart. 

So rather than run for a “safe” SOS position in 2024, Warner is apparently going to run for Governor.

* * * * * *

Advertisement

Warner’s decision naturally triggers a domino effect. So we have heard over the past week that my good friend and great public servant, Putnam County Clerk Brian Wood is eyeing secretary of state in 2024. He said as much on talk radio the other day.

Then, as mentioned here last week, there are those who think that Cabell County Delegate Daniel Linville will join Wood in the Republican SOS primary.

That would set up a contest between two outstanding and dedicated public servants.

Linville has spent countless hours bringing West Virginia broadband up to speed. Pun absolutely intended. 

* * * * * *

Kanawha County Republican Delegate Moore Capito tossed his hat in the ring for governor, leading one to conclude that this was the “big announcement” he intended to make months ago at The Greenbrier Resort.

Moore Capito just happens to be the son of GOP U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito and grandson of the legendary late Governor Arch A. Moore, Jr.

He’s also the cousin of State Treasurer Riley Moore, who coincidentally is running for Congress in 2024.

Advertisement

* * * * * *

In the meantime, friends of newly-elected State Senator Mike Stuart say that in the euphoric days while immediately basking in his landslide win over Democrat incumbent Ron Stollings, Stuart was also giving thought to jumping in the governor’s race.

There’s no doubt Stuart’s desire to be governor goes back quite a way.

Stuart sat at the late, great Fifth Quarter Restaurant nearly two decades ago and told a friend and me how he intended to be governor. In fact, he intimated that God was in the Stuart for Governor camp.

Stuart’s actual move to the Governor’s Mansion took a detour when he lost running for a Kanawha legislative seat.

But now that he’s won one for the home team, Stuart is said to be focusing more on becoming Attorney General in 2024. 

The likely gubernatorial run by current Republican Attorney General Patrick Morrisey would throw open the AG spot plus it would be open if Morrisey runs for governor.

The AG run likely makes sense for Stuart since he’s a lawyer and another former state GOP chair. An arch conservative, Stuart’s recent senate campaign pleases the bible-thumper element of the GOP.

Advertisement

He hammered abortion rights activists and proclaimed his love of guns on the State Senate campaign trail against Stollings.

Incidentally, I think the fact that the Boone Democrat had an A+ National Rifle Association rating fell on deaf ears. An avid outdoorsman, Stollings would never have confiscated guns the way Stuart said he would. 

* * * *.* *

Speaking of Stuart, hopefully folks in Boone, Lincoln and Logan counties will get accustomed to their Senator being “of Kanawha.” 

With redistricting caused by the 2020 census, those three       traditional southern coalfield counties were lumped into a 

district arguably dominated by Kanawha. Those three small counties have little in common with Kanawha, a giant by comparison. . 

Stuart lives in Kanawha, he’ll forever be identified and will physically be a Kanawha Delegate. Thus Boone County lost a seat to Kanawha. I’m willing to bet Boone County lives to regret losing one of their own.

And Stollings, despite or maybe because of being a physician, was and is one of their own. Stuart never can be.

Advertisement

Kanawha, meanwhile, got a gift wrapped Senator given to them.

One of those telling me Stuart will run for AG said, “Mike’s got a big ego that means he has to run for something in 2024. House of Delegates is not big enough for him.”

Having worked with Stuart on campaigns and considering him a personal friend (yes, I was for incumbent Democrat Ron Stollings), I totally agree.

Mike Stuart will NEED to have his ego rubbed.

What better way to do that than run for AG?

If you’re a lawyer, nothing makes more sense than Attorney General.

Except maybe judgeships or Justice of the Supreme Court.

* * * * * *

Advertisement

As I write shortly before noon on Sunday, voting has still not taken place to elect a new Senate President and House Speaker. The House vote is to take place this afternoon while the Senate is just a formality since incumbent Craig Blair is apparently unopposed at this time.

An early challenge to Blair by fellow Republican Senator Patricia Rucker did not materialize. Well, it materialized without sufficient votes to topple Blair.

Rumors ran rampant in the capitol all weekend. One late one had Raleigh Republican Brandon.Steele, who was challenging House Speaker Roger Hanshaw of Clay, quoted as saying he and the incumbent were neck-and-neck at 44 each.

Inasmuch as there’s an 88 Republican supermajority in the 100-member House, that tie accounted for every potential vote.

But Delegates like the Eastern Panhandle’s  Larry Kump had already announced they would not to present and therefore would not vote. Five GOP Delegates had made that commitment, according to my top-secret sources.

The latter scenario fueled the fire that commitments were actually 59 Hanshaw and only 20 for Steele.

Anyway, pencil in Stuart for Attorney General in 2024 and Blair and Hanshaw for right now.

* * * * * *

Advertisement

Speaking of Stuart and his district I continue to be chiefly concerned about the economic development issue of the century for that area.

Tourism can do so much for southern coalfield counties but there must be something else.

The clearly best hope for traditional and non-traditional jobs in this part of Southern Appalachia is the Hobet property just off Corridor G (U.S. Route 119) through Boone and Lincoln counties.

The former surface mine location offers the mosf level, desirable and accessible property in the coalfields.

The Hobet site needs one more thing to be competitive: it requires a wide, modern access road. 

Funding for the road has been in place since the administration of Logan County’s Governor, Democrat Earl Ray Tomblin.

Governor Jim Justice, a Republican, virtually shut the project down only to recently revive it.

While Stuart did not openly denounce the project, it remains to be seen if he’ll put his power and prestige behind the plan.

Advertisement

* * * * * *

There are more people contemplating office runs in 2024. The list here is not meant to be comprehensive yet.

We know, of course, that Huntington car dealer Supreme Chris Miller, has filed pre-candidacy as a Republican for governor. He’s the son of Congresswoman Carol Miller.

Chris Miller pledged to give up his day-to-day role running car dealerships in 2023. He said he will devote full time to the governor’s race.

It’s interesting to contemplate a run between two congressional sons with Moore Capito in the race as well.

* * * * * *

Stick with us for the latest on the 2924 election and legislative leadership races. We may just skip 2024 and move ahead to 2028.

Contact Ron Gregory at 304-533-5185; ronjoegregory@gmail.com; or PO Box 20297, Charleston, WV 25362. Anonymity guaranteed.

Advertisement

Author

  • Ron Gregory

    From Mayor of Glenville at age 26 to Assistant Mayor of Charleston, management of various public entities, and countless political races in West Virginia – Ron Gregory is the most noted political correspondent in the state. View all posts

From Mayor of Glenville at age 26 to Assistant Mayor of Charleston, management of various public entities, and countless political races in West Virginia - Ron Gregory is the most noted political correspondent in the state.