Richie Robb

Richie Robb, candidate for United States Senate

This is one of a series of guest columns from candidates in contested races in the May 12 West Virginia Primary Election.

Good Jobs. That is the heart and soul of my campaign.

Former Senators Robert Byrd and Jay Rockefeller made bringing good jobs to West Virginia their priority. I shall work 24/7 to do so again. The modern economy is leaving us behind. The incumbent talks about good jobs but does nothing, while challengers, except for me, do not even talk about it.

There are any number of ways good jobs can be brought to this state, as Senator Byrd did relocating federal facilities as the FBI Fingerprint Center in Clarksburg or Jay Rockefeller did in influencing Toyota to build a plant in Putnam County. Federal tax incentives for parts of the country like West Virginia would also attract good jobs that are currently going elsewhere.

I also support reform for paying the cost of medical care. Rather than one size fits all, I advocate flexible, yet immediate, measures to reduce costs across the board that are also easy to understand.

I also support comprehensive efforts to promote preventive care at all age levels. U.S. senators and their family members presently receive far better, and less expensive, medical care than the rest of us. That should not be. We should all be in this healthcare crisis together. No wonder very little gets done.

Born at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Huntington, I grew up in South Charleston, where I was mayor for 32 years.

South Charleston was once known as the “Chemical Center of the World.” Over 50,000 people were directly employed in that industry, enjoying high pay and quality benefits. Now there are about 2,000 chemical industry workers. The effect of these losses, like those in the coal industry, have been devastating to citizens and communities. Elected leaders have failed us. If they were coaches of sports teams, they would have been long gone.

I am a graduate of Marshall University, where I was captain of the football team and president of the senior class. I served in Vietnam where I was awarded the Bronze Star. I am a practicing attorney. I have been married 43 years to a public school teacher, have two children and a delightful granddaughter.

Richie Robb, a resident of South Charleston, is a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate representing West Virginia.

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