Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Justice defies political ‘ugliness’ but knows personal attacks will come

After Greenbrier Resort owner Jim Justice confirmed his plan to run for governor Monday, supporters weighed in on why the 64-year-old billionaire is ready for his first political fight, one that could be vicious and personal.

State Sen. Ron Miller, while acknowledging the mudslinging could be more intense than what Justice is accustomed, said the new candidate has workable ideas for saving West Virginia’s economy.

“He’s a business man so he’s probably used to attacks himself, but when they attack your family and those around you, that’s something that’s more difficult,” Miller said. “What he said was right on target—we need to diversify our state all over the state. He understands the coal industry but also understands the need for diversification.”

Justice, who’s estimated worth exceeds $1.6 billion, said the character-slamming nature of campaigns accomplishes nothing.

Coincidentally, the state GOP went on the attack immediately, pointing out safety violations at Justice-owned coal mines and claiming he benefits from too many corporate tax breaks.

Gearing up for what could be a battering campaign, Justice said being a politician doesn’t necessitate defaming opponents or making up statements that “are nowhere close to the truth.”