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PRINCETON--Michael Folk, Republican candidate for Governor of West Virginia stopped by The Bronze Look in Princeton on October 4. Folk is no stranger to controversy, and is often considered outspoken about his perceived injustice existing in West Virginia politics and is vocal about what he sees as the changes needed for the Mountain State.
Growing up on his family farm in Berkeley County, Folk started his career selling eggs to the community and reinvested the money into the raising of cattle. Folk still resides in the Eastern Panhandle.
Folk worked for his father’s agricultural aviation business, served as a classroom teacher and college professor before joining an automotive manufacturer as a materials management supervisor. Folk, then turned his passion for aviation into a career and is a pilot for a major airline company.
Folk served three terms to the West Virginia House of Representatives and now is interested in serving the citizens of West Virginia as her governor. This candidate sees a clear path to fixing the problems that plague the Mountain State and is not afraid to address them.
“Roads are a big issue in West Virginia,” says Folk. “I have been travelling the backroads of the state and have found that they are “in terrible condition in some spots.” Folk believes that the “band-aid approach to fixing the roads has failed.” Folk feels that, “six to eight months” is a ridiculous timeline for the repair of slips and falls on WV highways, and “(we) need to be sure that the budgets and the equipment needed to fix our roads are available.”
Folk wants to focus on the continual “brain drain” that permeates West Virginia culture. “The state needs to restructure the allocated funds that it collects,” and then “businesses could reinvest into creating jobs.” According to Folk, only eleven states currently tax equipment and inventory, and West Virginia is one of those. If those taxes were reduced and gradually eliminated, “jobs could be created, and we could focus on, “finished products being created” in our small towns and that we could change our focus from the “raw extraction” of the state’s resources. According to Folk, by creating these jobs, more of our families could “thrive in West Virginia.
Education is of the utmost importance to any West Virginian and Folk states that “the common core needs to be repealed in West Virginia.” Too many students are being “passed on from grade to grade with little result.” Folk feels that the ultimate decision for promotion should rest “in the hands of the teacher.” Folk also believes that “West Virginia schools need to return to a more basic structure.” Folk further believes that “we can support our teachers, and give them the resources that they need,’ through complete and thorough audits to make sure the budget reflects, “the real needs of our students.” Many of the budget woes can be allayed through “thorough examination of the budget and to curtail the unclassified spending that is everywhere.”
Folk, no stranger to controversy, in 2016, tweeted that then presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, “should be tried for treason, murder, and crimes against the US Constitution... then hung on the Mall in Washington, DC.” Folk’s tweet sparked an immediate backlash on social media.