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Government by the people, not the money

To the Editor,

Do you think we could elect better representatives if money were not a factor in determining the winner? If so, then it’s time to make a change in the way we vote by researching the performance of incumbents, the platforms of new candidates, and the data available through the Federal Election Commission.

District 1 voters have a choice between two congressional candidates for the House of Representatives. Here are some facts for you to consider.

Incumbent David McKinley has acquired $747,051.75 in contributions. 401 of his donors contributed over $1000 each. The remaining 82 donated under $1000. The majority of McKinley’s donors are corporations, such as energy companies, and Political Action Committees. He received 168 donations from individuals.

Natalie Cline has acquired $40,979.08. Except for one PAC, all of her donors are individuals. 1,307 individual donors have donated $100 or less; 17 donors between $101 and $1,000; only 8 over $1,000.

What do these statistics tell me? Although Natalie Cline has not come close to David McKinley’s success in acquiring funding, the number of small donors who believe in her far exceeds McKinley’s. I admit I have never met David McKinley nor have I spoken to him. I have met Natalie Cline via a Zoom Town Hall, and I believe she deserves your attention and consideration. Her campaign has invited McKinley’s to provide voters the opportunity to hear their views in a debate. To date, McKinley has declined. I hope that changes, and that more voters get to compare him to Cline.

McKinley has been representing District 1 in Congress for nearly 20 years. He served in the West Virginia House of Delegates for 14 years, and he was Chair of the West Virginia Republican Party for 4 years. I thank him and all who have served in government. But it’s time for a change, especially if you believe in term limits.

In this case, I believe Natalie’s Cline lack of experience in politics is a plus. Natalie has the education, enthusiasm, and vision for the change that West Virginia and our country needs. She will be an accessible representative for all West Virginians.

You may not see many television commercials or ads for Natalie, but you will have many opportunities to meet her. Do so by joining one of her virtual or social distancing town halls. You will get handwritten postcards, phone calls, and text messages from volunteers across this state working hard to elect her. Visit https://www.natalieclineforcongress.com/to learn about her platforms. Give Natalie Cline the fair chance that money can’t buy. And in doing so, when she wins, you’ll be a part of history in proving that our government is run by people — not money.

Fay Stump

Hedgesville, W.Va.

(former Hancock County teacher)

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