Salango goes after Justice on roads with ad, Monongalia County stop

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ben Salango released a new advertisement Monday morning criticizing Gov. Jim Justice and the state’s efforts to repair roads in West Virginia.

Hours later, Salango was in Monongalia County to look at road conditions and listen to voters.

Monongalia County Commissioner Tom Bloom, himself a Democrat, invited the Kanawha County Commissioner to the area to discuss the roads and issues with the Roads to Prosperity bond program.

“We’ve asked for the governor to come up, but we can’t find him,” Bloom said. “He doesn’t come up here. It just feels like we’re the bastard child.”

The advertisement attacks Justice for the condition of roads across West Virginia, comparing the road outside of the Greenbrier resort — which the Justice family owns — to dilapidated roadways in other parts of the state.

“This road is nice, and the governor made sure that our tax dollars boosted his business,” Salango says, citing a ProPublica article detailing the conflicts of interest with Justice’s government responsibilities and his businesses.

“Too bad the roads where the rest of us live and work are a disgrace.”

Salango and Bloom said Justice has not kept promises to improve roads in the Northern Panhandle and left residents’ questions unanswered.

“$2.8 billion of Roads to Prosperity money. None of it is being spent in Mon County,” Salango said. “None of it really being spent in north central West Virginia, and it’s time for that to change.”

Salango spoke to reporters while standing alongside Greenbag Road outside of the Morgantown city limits as cars and trucks rattled over the street’s potholes.

“There were promises made of where that money would go, and the promises weren’t kept. That money is not getting out and helping the people who need it most,” Salango said.

“If you’re taking a CEO from the airport to a prospective job site and you’re dodging potholes and dodging road slips on the way, it kills business,” he added. “We’re going in the wrong direction. We have to focus on our infrastructure.”

Clay Sutton, the communications director for the Justice campaign, discounted Salango’s remarks, noting an internal poll showing the governor leading by 27 percentage points.

“According to the West Virginia Department of Transportation website, Roads to Prosperity has already completed nearly $42 million in road, highway, and bridge repairs in Monongalia County with another $165 million in projects in the pipeline for completion,” Sutton added.

Tuesday will mark six weeks until Election Day.

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