Cole to announce political plans Tuesday
By Jeff Jenkins, WV MetroNews
BLUEFIELD, W.Va. — State Senate President Bill Cole has scheduled a pair of media events for Tuesday in which the Mercer County Republican is expected to announce a run for governor in 2016.
“He will make his intentions for 2016 clear when he participates in events in Charleston and Bluefield tomorrow,” Kent Gates, Republican consultant working with the Cole campaign told MetroNews Monday morning.
Cole will be at one of businesses in Bluefield at 10:30 and follow that with a ‘post-filing’ announcement at 1:30 at the state capitol.
Cole, a successful automobile dealer, has been mentioned for the gubernatorial bid in recent months along with fellow GOP members First District Congressman David McKinley and state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.
McKinley scheduled a Monday afternoon conference call with reporters to talk about his plans for 2016.
State Senate Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael (R-Jackson) said Monday on MetroNews Talkline that if McKinley decided to stay in the U.S. House he would continue to benefit the state.
“His outspoken advocacy for the coal industry and for our energy resources and the transportation networks in the nation’s capital is invaluable for the people of West Virginia,” Carmichael said.
Carmichael will join at Cole at Tuesday’s announcements at Nissan Cole in Bluefield and at the state capitol.
“He’s the right guy, if he decides to run for governor, to lead this state forward,” Carmichael said.
Cole successfully recruited several Republican candidates to run for state Senate last year and most of them were elected, giving control of the Senate to GOP for the first time in decades. Cole was then elected Senate president.
Cole’s Senate seat is up for vote next year.
The moves by Cole and McKinley will likely impact state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. Carmichael said Morrisey will do the right thing.
“I know Patrick well enough that he puts the people of West Virginia first and he will do the thing that is most important to the people of West Virginia,” Carmichael said.