CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Second District congressional candidate Ed Rabel dismissed the notion Tuesday during an appearance on MetroNews Talkline that his campaign in the November election is that of spoiler.
“I do hear that argument out there but I think it’s passe,” the West Virginia native and former CBS and NBC television newsman said. “This is a new year, people are demanding change and I think, honestly, it’s an insult to me and the people supporting me to suggest I can’t win.”
Rabel, of Alum Creek, gathered nearly 2,300 signatures to be on the ballot as an independent. The race already features Democrat Nick Casey, Republican Alex Mooney and Libertarian Davy Jones. The seat is open with the decision by Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito to run for U.S. Senate.
Rabel said a recent Gallup Poll showed independents can win.
“Two-thirds of those surveyed want a change, want a third choice, want an independent to choose from,” he said. “Because they are sick and tired and disgusted with what the Democrats and Republicans have not been doing in Washington. Then you know there’s a chance, that there’s hope.”
Rabel is a critic of the coal industry. He said it’s disingenuous for candidates to portray getting rid of Obama’s EPA will change things.
“Those who evoke the idea that coal can come bounding back and the jobs of miners can be saved if we simply get rid of the EPA—we know that’s pandering and is both deceitful and dishonest and politicians in our state do that,” he said.
Rabel said West Virginia’s economy should be diversified. He said projects like a regional airport and alternative energy jobs, like solar, would help. He said Tuesday on Talkline that he believes there should be a moratorium on Mountaintop Removal mining and hydraulic fracturing used in the natural gas industry.
Rabel said given everything that’s happened, he believes 2014 is a different year and a year in which an independent can win.
“The spoiler argument is not relative this year. I honestly believe that,” Rabel said. “People I talk to really do want change and they want to be able to vote for an independent and that’s why I’m in this race.”
The Mountain Party has endorsed Rabel’s candidacy.