Thursday, August 25, 2005

Susman, Wooton Vie for Opportunity to Lose to Russ Weeks

Today's Beckley Register-Herald reports that Delegate Sally Susman and former state Senator Bill Wooton, both D-Raleigh, will face off in next year's Democratic primary for the state Senate in the 9th District, which includes all of Raleigh County and most of Wyoming County. The winner of that contest will then lose to state Senator Russ Weeks, R-Raleigh, one of the stars of the Class of '02.

Susman has been a member of the House of Delegates for the last seven years. Her husband, Alan, is a former state senator and Raleigh County Democratic Chairman. Wooton served in the Legislature for almost 30 years before being upset by Weeks in 2002. In that contest, Wooton had a 10-1 money advantage over the first-time candidate who proudly proclaimed his Republicanism. As Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman for the decade of his legislative service, Wooton was an unapologetic obstructionist of pro-life legislation. Wooton's defeat broke a legislative logjam that has resulted in the enactment of an informed consent law requiring a 24-hour waiting period and the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, both sponsored by Weeks.

In 2004, President Bush won 62 percent of the vote in Raleigh County and 58 percent in Wyoming County. Raleigh County also voted for Secretary of State Betty Ireland, state Supreme Court Justice Brent Benjamin, and congressional candidate Rick Snuffer, who challenged Congressman Nick Rahall.

In the state Senate, Russ Weeks has fought for the right to life, lower taxes, comprehensive reform of the state's tax code, civil justice reform, and Worker's Compensation privatization. Weeks has been an active advocate for Republican and conservative principles and has worked to build the GOP in Southern West Virginia. I am confident the people of Wyoming and Raleigh counties will decide that Senator Weeks deserves another four years to work toward building a better, more prosperous West Virginia.