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Bill Maloney Campaigns in Martinsburg

Republican gubernatorial candidate for West Virginia, Bill Maloney, says time is on his side in this year's election.
MARTINSBURG, WV - Laughing with bumper stickers saying "Irritate Charleston, Vote," Bill Maloney says he's concentrating on increasing businesses in West Virginia.

"We just need to keep our best and brightest here, and to do that, you need a vibrant economy, a diverse economy and we don't have it," says Maloney.

A longstanding issue for Panhandle residents has been low wages with a higher cost of living, as compared to neighboring counties.

"I know teachers can jump across the state line for $20,000 more a year. That's tough. We've got to start addressing those things. There's creative things we can do to, you know, pay teachers more in this area, but you have to take those things on. The current administration's not really doing it," says Maloney.

"We have to have the ability to pay more money here than what's done on a state-wide basis because we're competing with Virginia and Maryland," comments Walt Pellish, County Commissioner of Shepherdstown District.

Aside from money, another hot topic is how the state handles things that come without a price tag: its invaluable natural resources. Pellish believes West Virginia can use this to its advantage and attract a high-tech, clean energy industry.

"We are noted as one of the worst states in the nation for being business friendly, we've got to change that. We have a tremendous, tremendous set of natural resources," says Pellish.

Maloney says West Virginia should have one of the cheapest electricity rates in the country with its abundant, low-cost coal power. He criticizes Washington's stricter environmental protection laws.

"I'm for reasonable regulation and cleaning up the environment, but it seems like folks over here in Washington just don't understand the real world of doing what needs to be done. Coal mining has been a base of West Virginia's economy for so long. You can't just shut it off overnight," says Maloney.

With six months to go until election time, Maloney plans to empower West Virginian power lines.
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