Last updated: April 23. 2014 1:54AM - 1690 Views
Ron Gregory ronjgregory@gmail.com



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Although I called the recent Kermit meet-the-candidate forum a “hot time in the old town,” it might have been more interesting if Sister Brendan Conlon had known a bit more about politics.


To a person, everyone in Mingo County has told me the “nuns do wonderful work in the community.” Perhaps they should stick to that and leave politics alone.


No doubt there was a noble goal in planning a meet-the-candidate event. But when I called it “partisan,” Sister Brendan chose to challenge me. The nuns, she said, were as surprised as I would be to learn there are no Republicans running for office in the May 13 Mingo primary. Oh, really? She said that information came from “the Voter Registration office in Williamson.” I doubt it.


As all my readers know, starting with Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito leading the ticket for U.S. Senate on the GOP ballot, there IS a Republican primary in Mingo County. There IS a Republican sample ballot.


The Sister was also certain Kermit Mayor Johnny Linville and the citizens of the town “would have been happy to receive (the $12,000 state check) even if the event had been a partisan one.” Probably, since Mingo has been run as a fiefdom under the disgraced Judge Michael Thornsbury and his minions in “Team Mingo,” that is true. But a change is sweeping Mingo County, Sister, and you may see it on May 13. When, if you were a Republican, you would be handed a Republican ballot. Surprise, surprise!


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Saturday was a delightful day when Big Jim Hatfield was honored at a pig roast in Gilbert. About 200 folks were on hand to honor the County Clerk’s birthday. Several candidates attended; none were Republican (at least on the ballot), so it, too, was a partisan event. It was there, munching on some great roasted pork, that I decided I am personally for Jonathan “Duke” Jewell for circuit judge. Though he made me somewhat suspicious by wearing sunglasses so I could not see his eyes, Jewell will make an excellent judge. Robert Carlton, one of his opponents, would likely be okay, too. But Carlton has on a huge sign on the back of his truck with this opening line: “Life Long Democrat.” So much for equal justice for independents and Republicans.


I’m also for Jackie Branch for board of education. She made a nice speech and is more impressive each time I see her. Big Jim deserves the four-year county commission term he is seeking and Hannah should receive the six-year bid. These are my personal preferences and not necessarily those of the staff, ownership or management of this or any newspaper.


Likewise, I think “Butch” West will make an excellent prosecutor, replacing the Team Mingo choice appointed when Michael Sparks departed for a federal learning facility.


Eddie Hendricks is my choice for another term on the county commission in Boone County.


* * * * * *


With the election getting close, and I having not upset anyone lately (what?), I might as well mention a few others I urge support for in the Southern coalfields. Senators H. Truman Chafin and Ron Stollings deserve support. So do Delegates Jeff Eldridge and Josh Barker. I support Delegate Ted Tomblin and David Graham in the Logan district but cannot really make any endorsement between Delegate Justin Marcum and Michael Baisden in Mingo.


* * * * * *


Certainly I am for Congressman Nick Joe Rahall. His opponent’s theme of “God and Country” would be enough to lose me. Capito and Natalie Tennant, the Democrat, are the natural choices for U. S. senate nominations.


* * * * * *


Word from Charleston is that former Mingo official Dallas Toler’s pension has been suspended for “less than honorable service.” What?


* * * * * *


Honestly, I don’t know what to confess this week. Since I discovered Jimmy Swaggart, I have been living right at the foot of the cross with him. It was predestined that way, I guess. Let’s just agree that anything you hear about me is probably true.


* * * * * *


While many said Big Jim Hatfield made the best speech of his life at Kermit, Sister Brendan didn’t like it because he went over his allotted time.


* * * * * *


Comments are always welcome … or tolerated. Send them to my email address or call my cell, 304-533-5185.

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