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CHARLESTON — The West Virginians for Manufacturing Jobs (WVMJ) PAC, with consultation from West Virginia Manufacturers Association (WVMA), has announced limited endorsements for the 2020 West Virginia primary. These endorsements convey the support of the WVMJ PAC and the manufacturing industry for key seats in West Virginia primary races. The WVMJ PAC will conduct candidate surveys and additional analysis when determining endorsements for the 2020 general election.

“We are making a special effort prior to the primary election to recognize legislators and candidates who demonstrate an exceptional understanding of the importance of the growth of manufacturing to our state’s economy,” said Rebecca McPhail, president of the WVMJ PAC and West Virginia Manufacturers Association. “As our state faces unprecedented economic challenges, it is more important than ever to look ahead to identify candidates who can most effectively lead our state to a strong economic future at every level.”

The WVMA is a vocal proponent of maximizing the benefits of the region’s shale resources to advance downstream manufacturing development and expansion of natural gas for energy consumers. The industry also advocates policy to create a competitive environment for manufacturing investment in the state. Recent policy efforts include manufacturing tax reform, regulatory balance and workforce preparedness.

“As we navigate these historic times, West Virginians cannot lose focus on life beyond the COVID-19 crisis and the importance of strong leadership from the top down in pushing our state through economic recovery,” McPhail said. “This is particularly crucial in establishing increased economic diversity with a strong foundation in manufacturing.”

Endorsements by the WVMJ PAC for the 2020 primary are as follows:

U.S. Senate: Shelley Moore Capito

Governor: Woody Thrasher

Secretary of State: Mac Warner

Labor Council makes local endorsements

The Southwestern District Labor Council has endorsed the following candidates in the primary election:

Huntington Mayor: Steve Williams

Senate 5: Bob Plymale

Senate 7: Ralph Rodighiero

House 16: Sean Hornbuckle, Dakota Nelson, Carol Polan

House 17: Matt Rohrbach, Chad Lovejoy

House 18: Paul Ross

House 19: Tom Jarrell, Ric Griffith

House 22: Jeff Eldridge

Hospitality association endorses Justice

The West Virginia Hospitality & Travel Association has endorsed Gov. Jim Justice for re-election in the 2020 Republican primary election.

“We thank Governor Justice for his commitment to increasing tourism to West Virginia. More people visiting West Virginia is great for our state, local economies and members of the West Virginia Hospitality & Travel Association. Our members include food service, lodging, convention centers, visitors bureaus and travel-related businesses. We employ thousands of hardworking West Virginians,” said Carol Fulks, executive director, West Virginia Hospitality & Travel Association.

According to the group, West Virginia’s tourism has grown for two consecutive years, reversing declines in prior years. Last year, West Virginia’s tourism growth outpaced the national average by 58%. Traveler spending in West Virginia has grown 9.9% in two years. Justice has made promoting West Virginia’s beauty and greatness with the rest of the country a top priority.

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