— MetroNews (@WVMetroNews) April 25, 2018
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Although running for U.S. Senate has caused him to drive across the state on multiple occasions, Republican candidate and former coal miner Bo Copley says it’s been a great experience.
“For me being in the southern part of the state, we had a debate in Wheeling which was over four hours away. We had an event in Berkeley County which is backyard to a couple of our opponents, and a lot of people thought it was crazy to drive six hours,”the Delbarton-based candidate said last week on MetroNews “Talkline.”
“One of the reasons that people don’t want to leave the state to find work is because we love our home state because it’s so friendly. And it’s proven to be that in every corner that we’ve gone to,” he added.
Copley — who gained national attention after challenging Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for comments she made regarding the future of the coal industry — does face challenges on the pathway to becoming the state’s next senator. According to a Fox News poll released last week, Copley has 2 percent of support among likely Republican primary voters.
U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins leads the field at 25 percent, followed by state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (21 percent), former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship (16 percent), National Guard Maj. Tom Willis (4 percent), Copley and U.S. Navy veteran Jack Newbrough (1 percent).
Seven percent of respondents say they do not favor any of the six candidates, and 24 percent are undecided.
“You’ve got your frontrunners who are well-known people who have been in office and have all the limelight so to speak because they continue to get these platforms,” Copley said. “If you look at a lot of the comments, you have people say, ‘I don’t like any of these guys.'”
Jenkins, Morrisey and Blankenship will participate in a debate Tuesday in Morgantown at the Metropolitan Theatre, as they reached the required 10 percent threshold to qualify.
“People are sick of people throwing money at elections, and if we can get our name out there enough for people to realize that those are not the only three candidates they have, we are confident that we will pull ahead,” Copley said.
Copley described himself on “Talkline” as a “man of faith,” saying his Christian values guide his everyday choices and will influence his decisions in office.
“I think that people that are going to support us are going to support me for that,” he said.
Copley added while he supports Trump, he is not afraid to voice opposition to him if he puts forward policy that would negatively affect the state.
“As far as my faith goes, I’ve been outspoken about his Twitter account and the way that he talks and the way that he thinks and the things that he does,” he said. “I’m not thrilled with some of the things that have happened or the way he has handled himself in some situations in office, but policy-wise, I have agreed with most everything that he has done.”
The winner of the Republican Senate primary will face off against the Democratic nominee, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin or activist Paula Jean Swearengin, in the general election.
Election day is May 8. Early voting is through May 5.