Big news out of Kanawha County this morning: Delegate Meshea Poore, D-Kanawha, will run for the 2nd Congressional District next year, facing off against fellow Democrat contender Nick Casey.
We’re still waiting for Poore to return out calls, but her candidacy raises several questions. How will Poore, a relative political newcomer, fare against Casey, who is a former state party chairman who already has more than $400,000 in campaign funds? Both candidates also are lawyers, but Casey is treasurer of the American Bar Association. Who will win support of state trial lawyers?
In other news…
- The state Public Service Commission will use a $2 million rate increase on utilities to help fund repairs to its downtown Charleston headquarters, which is suffering major architectural issues. As Dave reports, PSC officials say consumers won’t be affected by the increases.
- Hiring more employees to save money doesn’t make sense on the surface, but the Regional Jail Authority has found a way to make it work. At a board meeting on Monday, director Joe Delong showed South Central Regional Jail in Charleston saved $18,000 in overtime last month after hiring 14 additional correctional officers. The program is expected to be expanded to jails statewide, which could lead to another reduction in per-diem fees the authority charges to counties.
- Republican operative Rob Cornelius has brought a new ethics complaint against State Auditor Glen Gainer, alleging Gainer used Auditor’s Office staff to help fight an earlier ethics complaint. You’ll recall Gainer recently agreed to donate $1,000 to Charleston Area Medical Center after the state Ethics Commission decided he should not have appeared in a Visa ad touting the credit card company’s “p-card” program.