If elected governor, Larry Faircloth would look for cost savings in state agencies

February 19, 2011
  • Faircloth

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Former Berkeley County Del. Larry Faircloth likes his chances to win the Republican nomination for governor in the May 14 special election.

The 62-year-old Berkeley County real estate broker will be listed third on the ballot in his second bid for governor against seven other GOP candidates.

If regional politics come into play, Faircloth said he should fair well considering none of the other candidates is from the Eastern Panhandle, where there are considerable numbers of Republican voters compared to other areas of the state.

In a recent interview, Faircloth noted three of the candidates, each with solid name recognition, are from the Charleston area and three others hail from the Morgantown area.

That leaves state Sen. Clark Barnes, R-Randolph, whose sprawling nine-county district includes Morgan County and part of southwestern Berkeley County, as Faircloth's geographically closest challenger.

"I think this election is winnable for me," said Faircloth, who served in the House of Delegates for 24 years.

The name recognition gained from the experience in Charleston should help net votes in other areas of the state, Faircloth said.

In the 2004 Republican primary, Faircloth finished sixth in a 10-candidate field, according to the West Virginia Secretary of State's office. But Faircloth pointed to 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge John Yoder's nearly successful bid for the state Supreme Court last fall as evidence of what could be possible for his statewide campaign.

If elected, Faircloth said the state's budgeting priorities will need close scrutiny, given the expectation that Congress will force states to absorb Medicaid costs that will be a "big bite" out of the budget.

"I don't want us to be forced into raising taxes," Faircloth said. "We have taxed our people as far as we can tax them."

Faircloth said he would look for cost savings by streamlining "top-heavy" administration in state agencies that rely on dedicated lower-level workers who do a good job.

On health care issues, Faircloth said "Obama care" threatens to bankrupt business and the state, which he said should join other states in the fight to overturn the federal law.

Faircloth also emphasized his "Right to Life" endorsement, strong support of Second Amendment gun ownership rights and the critical importance of improving education in West Virginia to sustain and expand the economy in a global marketplace.

Faircloth said he hired Steve Cohen, who worked for Doug McKinney's successful congressional campaign last fall, as a media consultant.

Promising an aggressive campaign, Faircloth said he expects to be somewhere everyday in the state reaching out to voters for support.

"We're going to do it all," Faircloth said.

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