MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (WDVM) — West Virginia Governor Jim Justice kicked off his re-election year at the state capitol Wednesday night with a call for a $1.9 million commitment to coordinating a federal-state anti-drug crime fighting initiative.
The news was well received by Berkeley County Sheriff Curtis Keller, who says drug trafficking in the county is relentless.
And while the eastern panhandle is the fastest growing region of the state, Tina Combs, long-time president and CEO of the Berkeley County / Martinsburg Chamber of Commerce says illegal drug trade in the region, largely from close proximity to Baltimore, is a serious concern when trying to attract new business.
But Kanawha County Commissioner Ben Salango, a Democrat running an aggressive 2020 campaign to take Justice’s seat in the governor’s office, says “just throwing $1.9 million at a problem that is devastating a generation is really insufficient.”
Salango, from the state capitol in Charleston, says every region of the state must approach the drug crisis as it is uniquely affected by it. The latest campaign finance reports filed show Salango has more cash on hand than all other West Virginia gubernatorial candidates from both parties combined.