West Virginia Gubernatorial Candidate Visits Mercer County

MERCER COUNTY, W.Va (WOAY) – Woody Thrasher, a Republican candidate running for Governor of West Virginia visited Mercer County today to talk about the county’s economic successes and setbacks. 

Businessman and former West Virginia Secretary of Commerce Woody Thrasher served under current Governor Jim Justice and is now running against him. 

“I’m advertising myself as somebody that realizes the problems of West Virginia are significant, and we all need to wake up and realize that we are not going in the right direction,” Thrasher said. “If we’re going to get it to go in the right direction,  I think you do need a full-time governor that not only is full-time but really has a track record of being able to create economic vitality and jobs and I think I have a track record that’s unsurpassed.”

On Monday, Thrasher met with local and state leaders in Mercer County. 

“I’m very pleased that he would be interested enough to come down here during his campaign to try to find out what our needs are,” 6th District State Senator Chandler Swope (R) said. “The conversations today were couched around economic development and how we grow Mercer County.” 

Thrasher says his two main platforms are improving infrastructure and diversifying the economy. 

“We lost 11,000 people last year. Twenty years in a row we’ve lost people. Typically, they’re young, educated people that go elsewhere because we don’t have job opportunities here. That’s why I’m running for governor,” Thrasher said.

Governor Justice asked Thrasher to resign from Secretary of Commerce last summer following controversy over the state’s handling of flood relief funding. Now, he must find ways to stand out against the Republican incumbent. 

“I do have a sterling reputation as far as paying my bills, showing up for work, paying my taxes and doing the sorts of things to serve the people that work with me,” Thrasher said.

West Virginia Delegate Michael Folk is also running on the Republican ticket for governor. The West Virginia primary will be held on May 12, 2020. 

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Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.