Political candidates turn out for Republican picnic

VIENNA- Changes are coming to West Virginia and the nation, Republican candidates told the party faithful Wednesday evening.

The Wood County Republican Executive Committee held its annual picnic at Buzzie Dils Park behind Logan’s Steakhouse in Vienna for locals affiliated with the party as well as local, state and national Republican candidates running for office.

The elected officials and others spoke about the opportunity ahead of them to return West Virginia to Republican control in the House of Delegates and to make changes in Washington, D.C., to challenge an administration some feel is trying to undermine the prosperity of this state and its people.

“I feel at home here in Wood County,” said U.S. Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va. “You all are very special to me. It is an honor for me to represent the First District.”

He talked about Shelley Moore Capito’s run for the U.S. Senate.

“When I think about what Shelley is about to take on over the whole state, all I can say is this is West Virginia,” McKinley said. “Wood County is the best you are going to find in the whole state.

“When I look at everyone here I just don’t see names and faces, I feel your heart. This is a year of change. We are going to make history here in West Virginia,” McKinley said.

McKinley said he had to leave the picnic early to return to Wheeling because his son was in the hospital. Those at the picnic said a prayer for McKinley’s son.

Capito was in the area throughout the day touring Wincore Windows & Doors, meeting people at Mary B’s diner and meeting with employees of the Mid-Ohio Valley Medical Group to discuss health care and jobs.

“I am meeting a lot of great folks in Wood County,” she said. “We met with people concerned about jobs, the economy, health care and more.

“Folks are telling me they are ready to make a change in the West Virginia voice in Washington, D.C., in the Senate and make a difference for West Virginia jobs,” Capito said.

People feel like nothing is being accomplished in the U.S. Senate due to partisan gridlock, she said. Issues are not being brought up for debate, including decisions by the federal Environmental Protection Agency, health care reform and regulations affecting job development, Capito said.

“People are tired of it and nothing getting done,” Capito said. “I am known as someone who works across the aisle and who has been working on these issues.”

Other officials talked about the work they have done in protecting residents of West Virginia.

Earlier in the day, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey warned residents not to be taken by credit card scammers over the telephone.

Some scams are seasonal, such as home improvement con artists in the spring, but credit card and related scams know no season, Morrisey said. Nonetheless, more people have called the attorney general to complain, he said.

“There seems to be an up tick of these calls,” Morrisey said.

The attorney general can take action if enough residents complain about legitimate calls from credit card companies after the residents put themselves on the do not call list, Morrisey said. The state can file complaints with the Federal Trade Commission, he said.

However, being on the do not call list will not stop calls from scammers who will use high-pressure tactics to get bank account information, Morrisey said.

“We’re trying to warn people against that,” he said.

The Wood County Republican Party’s headquarters will open July 12 in the Park Shopping Center for the upcoming election season.

Mike Azinger, Republican candidate for the House of Delegates, 10th Distinct, said this was the year things were going to change for the Republican party in West Virginia.

“If ever there was a year to fight and to win, it is this year,” he said.

Azinger said President Barack Obama’s administration was determined to take away people’s rights and change the country into something it was never meant to be.

“It is time for a dose of federalism and time for the states to stand up to this nonsense, to fight and to get some backbone,” he said. “That is what the delegates (the Republican candidates who are running) will do.

“We need God back in our nation.”

(City Editor Jess Mancini contributed to this story.)