GOP Governor candidate visits Wood County

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PARKERSBURG, W.Va.-(WTAP) A Republican candidate for West Virginia governor made stops in Wood County Thursday.

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Michael Folk announced his candidacy earlier this year. He is a former member of the House of Delegates and a businessman, originally from Martinsburg.

He says he's more conservative than the more well-known candidates in the race: current governor Jim Justice and former commerce director Woody Thrasher.

Folk says making the state more business-friendly will turn around a decline in population.

"We're one of only 11 states that tax equipment and inventory," Folk said in an interview with WTAP. "The Ohio Valley will benefit greatly from removing the tax on inventory. It would create jobs and increase the tax base, and give a place for people to work who need jobs and don't want to move out of state."

Folk says, while still in the legislature, he introduced an alternative budget in 2017 to one supported by Gov. Justice, who then was a Democrat. It was Folk's budget proposal, he says, that was passed by the legislature and famously vetoed by the governor, before being approved in a special session. Justice allowed it to go into effect without his signature.

Folk visited Conley Manufacturing near Mineral Wells Thursday afternoon, and visited Stoked Coffee in South Parkersburg Thursday evening.