CHARLESTON, W.Va. — House Finance Chairman Eric Nelson, a Charleston resident, says he plans to run for re-election to the House of Delegates rather than for Charleston mayor as he’d considered.
“This was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever made,” Nelson stated in a news release. “Much like our state, the City of Charleston is at a critical crossroads right now, one that requires experienced leadership to attract business, encourage growth and stabilize our city’s finances. This is my hometown, I’ve raised a family here, and I want my children and their children to have the opportunities to stay and raise their families in this great community too.
“However, to accomplish that dream, we need competent, qualified leadership at both the city and state levels,” Nelson said. “I’ve wrestled with this decision for several months now. After much thought, prayer and discussion with my family, I’ve decided the best opportunity for me to serve this community and help it grow is to again run for the House of Delegates.
Nelson was first elected to the House in 2010. He has been Finance chairman since 2014.
He is President of Nelson Enterprises, Inc., a diversified investment company focusing on real estate, natural resources, money management, and entrepreneurial activity in the Appalachian region. He is married to Pamela Tuckwiller Nelson, and they have 3 children: Heather, Tripp and Sydney.
Candidates for Charleston mayor so far include ex-tourism commissioner Amy Goodwin and councilman-at-large Andy Richardson, running as Democrats, lawyer and city clerk J.B. Akers as a Republican and Andy Backus as an independent.
Republican Mayor Danny Jones, in his fourth term as the city’s chief executive, is not running for re-election. Jones hosts a morning talk show on MetroNews affiliate WCHS.
Nelson said his efforts are needed at the Capitol.
“West Virginia is sitting at the cusp of a tremendous comeback story,” Nelson stated. “We’ve passed a right-to-work law that’s already turning the heads of site developers and companies looking to expand. We hope to begin reforming our tax code to fix things like the business inventory tax, which has stood in the way of investment in our state. And this past weekend, the voters sent a clear message that they’re ready to start investing in our infrastructure by approving a $1.6 billion road bond, which will also create thousands of jobs over the coming years and open more doors for investment in this state.
“To see this tremendous opportunity become reality, we need good, effective leadership in the Legislature to see it through. As Chairman of the House Finance Committee, I’ve already helped navigate this state through some of the worst financial straits its seen in generations. We’ve made tough but responsible decisions to weather these storms, and now I believe we have brighter days ahead of us. With the right leadership, I’m confident great things are ahead for West Virginia, and I hope the voters will continue to allow me the privilege to contribute to it.”