Sunday, June 03, 2007

Mickey McGlothlin challenging Bowling for House of Delegates

The Bluefield paper has this article about the challenge brought by Grundy lawyer Mickey McGlothlin against Dan Bowling.

The article says in part:

"Two Democrats are vying for their party's nomination June 12 in a high-profile contest for the Third Legislative District House of Delegates seat.

Incumbent Delegate Dan Bowling, D-Tazewell, is being challenged by Michael G. “Mickey” McGlothlin in the Democratic Party primary. A Republican candidate hasn't been announced to date for the Third District contest, which includes Tazewell, Russell and Buchanan counties.

. . .

Bowling, who lives on a family farm near Tazewell, was first elected to the House of Delegates in a special election on Jan. 3, 2006. Bowling said he remains committed to job creation, regional cooperation, meeting the needs of law enforcement and emergency medical personnel, completing the Coalfields Expressway and pursuing a diversified economy for the legislative district.

. . .

McGlothlin, who was born in Richlands, currently resides in Buchanan County but also owns a farm in Tazewell County. He is the current county attorney for Buchanan County, and also previously served as the Commonwealth Attorney for Buchanan County. He is campaigning on a pledge of putting Southwest Virginia first, and is advocating the creation of high-quality jobs, fighting the war on drugs in Southwest Virginia, developing a plan for progress, completing the Coalfields Expressway, 'showcasing' the Third District, and helping with the restoration of historic Pocahontas.

. . .

Both candidates are hoping to expedite construction on the Coalfields Expressway in Southwest Virginia. The 51-mile four-lane corridor will extend through Buchanan, Dickenson and Wise counties before connecting with West Virginia. Virginia has partnered with two private coal companies that will help to develop the roadway bed by extricating coal.

. . .

Bowling, who has been endorsed for re-election by Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, welcomes the endorsement, and believes it is proper for the governor to make an endorsement in the Democratic primary.

'I think the governor has a right to endorse anyone he wants to,' Bowling said. 'Personally, I’ve been told I'm the only candidate in [t]he primary (elections) he's endorsed. I think he knows I'm a hard worker, and my heart is in Southwest Virginia. I do work closely with the governor, and I do have a very effective relationship with the governor.'

McGlothlin said he too if elected will have an effective working relationship with the governor.

'Even though the governor isn't supporting me, and even though I didn't support him in the last election, I’m very willing to work with him,' McGlothlin said. 'I have talked to him. I think he is the type of person that once an election is over is willing to looking at ideas and issues. I think if he would have looked at our backgrounds, I think I have a tremendous amount of experience. All people in Virginia want a better way of life. I think everyone who is in the Virginia Generally Assembly in their heart of hearts wants to make Virginia a better place. I'm willing to listen to anybody and talk these things out to try to arrive at a solution to the problems of Virginia and Southwest Virginia.'

Both candidates also are concerned about recent efforts to trim state government at the expense of Southwest Virginia, including proposed closures of Virginia Employment Commission offices as well as the recent — but ultimately rejected — plan to close Virginia Department of Transportation maintenance offices across Southwest Virginia.

. . .

Both candidates also are committed to winning the war against drugs in Southwest Virginia.

'Honestly, I think some of the legislation I’ve seen passed in West Virginia, I would like to take that to Virginia,' Bowling said of laws aimed at controlling methadone clinics in neighboring West Virginia. 'The methadone clinic down near Richlands that I drive past every day, I think it's just a filling station. The sad thing about the methadone clinics is if they are used properly, it would help some people break their addiction. But some people abuse it. They come back and back and back again.'

McGlothlin is actively campaigning on a goal of fighting the drug war in Southwest Virginia.

'We know we have a significant drug problem in our area,' McGlothlin said. 'We have to look at what we can do in our region to try to address our problems. We have a lot of parts of the state that have drug courts. We have a drug court in Tazewell County, but we don’t have one in Buchanan or Russell counties.'

McGlothlin said reaching the younger generation — which is at a greater risk of being trapped by drug and alcohol addiction — is critical.

. . .

Despite recent successes in diversifying the economy of Southwest Virginia, including the 700 plus technology jobs that are being created in Russell County by CGI and Northrop Grumman and the creation of the Appalachian School of Law and the University of Appalachia College of Pharmacy in Grundy, both candidates are committed to supporting future projects, including the proposed Bluestone technology park in Tazewell County.

Bowling said the key to bringing CGI and Northrop Grumman to Southwest Virginia was the creation of the 200-plus mile OC48 fiber-optic broadband backbone in Southwest Virginia. Bowling said he was a member of the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors when work began on the broadband project.

. . .

When it comes to diversifying the economy, and fighting for new high-paying jobs with good benefits, lawmakers representing Southwest Virginia must remain aggressive, McGlothlin said.

'You don’t stop,' McGlothlin said. 'You always have to have some project in front of you.'

In addition to the Bluestone project in Bluefield, McGlothlin sees great potential in the proposed Poplar Gap project in Buchanan County. McGlothlin said the University of Appalachian College of Pharmacy also is pursuing a lab expansion, and he hopes to see the development of another industrial park in Richlands."

Mr. McGlothlin is free to announce that I'm for him or against him, whichever will do him the most good.

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