Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Republican Bill Cole launches 2016 gubernatorial campaign

 “I am a candidate for a governor of this great state,” state Senate President Bill Cole (R-Mercer, 06) announced on Tuesday confirming his plans to seek the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 2016.
Cole said he wants to make a difference for West Virginia by streamlining government, helping the state better partner with businesses and creating jobs from the Governor’s Office.
“I think that I’m in a unique position with my business skill as well as, I’m not a career politician but I’ve got enough years in that I’ve sort of got things figured out a little bit, so I think a combination of the two things puts me in a new unique position for the state of West Virginia, for its citizens,” he said.
Cole, 59, an auto dealer with businesses in West Virginia and Kentucky, was first elected to the state Senate in 2012 and became Senate President six months ago after Republicans took control of the Senate with a narrow 18-16 margin following the 2014 general election.
Cole was one of three Republicans who’d dominated discussions in recent months about potential GOP gubernatorial candidates.
On Monday, 1st District Congressman David McKinley (R-W.Va.) announced his plans to seek re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives next year. It will be his 4th term if his re-election bid is successful.
State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has not yet made a decision about a potential gubernatorial run.
Among Democrats, Senate Minority Leader Jeff Kessler (D-Marshall, 02), former Senate President, and Jim Justice, a businessman worth billions who has never before run for political office, have filed pre-candidacy papers to seek the party’s gubernatorial nomination next May.

The official candidate filing period is Jan. 11 – Jan. 30, 2016. Primary election day in West Virginia is May 10, 2016.