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Independent gubernatorial hopeful S. Marshall Wilson visits Brooke County

ASKING FOR YOUR VOTE — State Del. S. Marshall Wilson, I-Berkeley, an independent candidate for West Virginia governor, shared his views and goals with local residents during a visit to Three Bridges Restaurant in Follansbee on Wednesday. (Contributed photo)

FOLLANSBEE — An independent candidate for West Virginia governor said too often West Virginia’s resources are shipped away without the state taking full opportunity to capitalize on them.

S. Marshall Wilson, a state Delegate from Berkeley County who has organized a write-in campaign for the state’s top executive post, said,” We’ve got wonderful timber here they ship to North Carolina to make furniture.”

Wilson said instead, the timber industry could support local furniture producers, just as the vast storage of natural gas in the state could lead to the development of West Virginia-based petrochemical, plastics and related businesses.

He said business growth in the state is hampered by excessive regulations and unfair taxes, including an inventory tax paid by businesses for equipment and materials for which taxes were paid when they were purchased.

“The idea that we would be so greedy to tax an item while it’s on a shelf and not being used,” Wilson said, adding, “Stop strangling the businesses and they will come.”

Wilson has proposed gradually phasing out all taxes on income and personal property and replacing them with sales taxes on goods other than food and medicine.

Asked about improving the condition of roads, he said before investing funds in new ones, the state should prioritize those that are unsafe because of slides and other conditions, followed by those with deteriorating surfaces. He said the cost to maintain new roads and bridges should be considered when planning them.

Wilson has questioned Gov. Jim Justice’s authority to order businesses to close because of COVID-19 and would oppose mandatory testing and vaccination for the virus, if proposed, because he believes it would violate citizens’ Constitutional rights.

A native of Louisiana, he moved to West Virginia in 2017. A veteran of the Army and National Guard, he served in Afghanistan and was involved in relief efforts following Hurricane Gustav. He also was team leader of a Christian mission to Peru from 2005 to 2007.

(Scott can be contacted at wscott@heraldstaronline.com.)

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