West Virginia Congressman David McKinley pays call on prospective eastern panhandle constituents

West Virginia

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (WDVM) — The business community of Martinsburg welcomed a congressional visitor as we wind down this week with the Christmas holiday approaching. Representative David McKinley, an unfamiliar face to some, paid a call on small business leaders about challenges they face in today’s economy.

The ever increasing challenges of small business are getting some attention from Capitol Hill. McKinley has been on the West Virginia political landscape for decades and is a former member of the House of Delegates, former candidate for governor and former chair of the state Republican Party. For the past decade, he’s been in Congress, representing the northern panhandle, Morgantown and some counties headed east.

“We’ve got problems with employees,” said McKinley. “Workforce. We have problems with supply chain.”

The eastern panhandle is currently in the district of U.S. Representative Alex Mooney. But with congressional redistricting after the most recent Census, McKinley and Mooney will tussle in the May primary next year. McKinley wanted firsthand insight on concerns in this region.

“Supply chain is a horrible issue we’re dealing with. Getting materials in the building industry is almost impossible. If you can get it you get promises like six months, eight months away before we can even hope to get it to you. Hopefully David can address some of those things,” said building contractor Jim Dailey.

McKinley has his ear to the grindstone on other regional concerns.

“We still have a drug problem here in the eastern panhandle and we have to take it seriously,” says McKinley. “Unfortunately in the last few years Congress has taken it’s eye off the ball and it’s gotten worse.”

Continued federal support for the MARC rail commuter service is another McKinley priority. The eastern panhandle is new territory for Congressman McKinley. But he hopes to be visiting on official business well beyond next year.

McKinley is not totally unfamiliar with the eastern panhandle. He is a building engineer by trade. His Wheeling-based firm has designed many structures, such as schools, located right here in the Berkeley-Jefferson county region.

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