Democrat gubernatorial nominee Ben Salango stumps in West Virginia’s eastern panhandle

West Virginia

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (WDVM) — West Virginia voters will decide this fall if Republican Governor Jim Justice deserves another term.

That’s up to the voters and Democrat Ben Salango — a Kanawha County commissioner from the state capital, Charleston – is making another swing through the eastern panhandle this weekend. He’s not entirely an unfamiliar name here though. A lawyer, Salango won a recent high-profile case in Berkeley County court against the school system when a young student was allegedly abused. But he says voters here are telling him they want someone new in the governor’s office.

“I think the people of the eastern panhandle are ready for change,” Salango says. “They want to move West Virginia forward. They want a governor who’s about public service not about self- service and that’s why we have so much support over here.”

Support, for example, from the state’s Democratic delegation to the legislature. Sammi Brown represents Jefferson County and is a champion for the region’s thoroughbred racing industry and, what she calls, “mindful” economic development. And she has an appreciation for Salango’s approach to governing.

“There’s absolutely no way he’s going to stop until the job’s done,” says Brown. “And I appreciate that.”

And Delegate Brown says the eastern panhandle is a key voting block for any candidate for statewide office. What’s Salango’s sense of the mood of eastern panhandle voters?

“They’re being ignored in Charleston by Jim Justice and they want to meet a candidate who’s paying attention to them,” says Salango.

Salango is planning a return visit to the eastern panhandle in just over a week but is campaigning this weekend in Jefferson County.

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