Kanawha County commissioner announces run for governor

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Kanawha County Commissioner Ben Salango announced Thursday in Charleston that he is seeking the Democratic nomination for West Virginia governor in 2020.

“This place means a lot to me because it proves that with the right kind of help our communities can work to lift themselves up," Salango said. "It shows that if we put in the work – together – we can make a start at giving our kids and our communities a chance at a better life.”

Salango has been a member of the Kanawha County Commission since February 2017. He was a elected to a full term in November 2018.

“We need to try something different here in West Virginia," he said. "We need a governor we can be proud of. Not one who is constantly buried in controversy, lawsuits and ethical scandals. Someone who understands hard work. Someone who actually wants the job, rather than the title. We need a governor who is ready to lead by example.”

Salango was the Kanawha County commissioner who worked to create the Shawnee Sports Complex in Dunbar. In a news release, Salango said the complex has made $20 million so far this year.

“We need a governor who is hands-on and who will work to create good paying jobs all over the state, not just in the parts where his business interests lie," he said. "We need a governor who will fight to stop the flow of illegal drugs and to make the education of our kids an actual priority rather than a political talking point.”

Other Democrats who have filed to run for governor include Jody Murphy of Parkersburg, Stephen Smith of Charleston and Ron Stollings of Madison.