John Perdue visits April 9
State Treasurer John Perdue visited Shepherdstown Saturday, April 9 and met with local residents as a part of his campaign for governor.
Perdue, a democratic candidate, will face off against five other hopefuls in the special gubernatorial primary election, Saturday, May 14.
In a stop at the historic Shepherdstown Train Station, Perdue addressed the issues he feels concern residents of the Eastern Panhandle and the state as a whole.
Citing the importance of this particular election, he said, “It’s time to step up and change the future of West Virginia … We’re at a crossroad.”
He said that the outcome of the 2011 gubernatorial election would decide the future of the state for the next decade.
Perdue, who began his career working for the Department of Agriculture in Inwood, described the Eastern Panhandle’s “unique” problems.
“I have probably spent more time in the Eastern Panhandle than any elected official in Charleston,” he said.
He promised that as governor he would keep a regional office in the Eastern Panhandle so that citizens could better engage in the politics happening downstate.
David Hammer, a resident of Shepherdstown, helped organize the meet and greet and fundraiser.
Hammer said that he became a Perdue supporter after having a one-on-one conversation with him about the issues.
Hammer, who had been involved in other local campaigns, is one of the drafters of the Farmland Protection Act.
Hammer feels that Perdue recognizes the value of agriculture to the Eastern Panhandle, and also praised Perdue’s views of Marcellus Shale drilling which he called “the most pressing issue in the next 10 years for West Virginia.”
Perdue, who sees the opportunities the Marcellus Shale ” discovery” could provide, said that he would protect the environment and is in favor of drilling Marcellus Shale regions after appropriate regulations are put in place.
He said he wants to “make sure we dot the i’s and cross the t’s.”
During closing remarks made at the event Saturday, Perdue also said that he plans to address the disproportionately low amount teachers are paid in the Eastern Panhandle in contrast to their counterparts in Maryland and Virginia and suggested locality pay as an option to keep teachers in West Virginia.
Perdue said he also believes the state needs a long-term plan to build infrastructure and create an environment where small businesses can thrive.
When asked how he planned to address the rising utility rates citizens are paying, Perdue said that as governor he would put a moratorium on rate increases and explained that what sets him apart from other candidates is that he is not beholden to the interests of the big utility companies.
“If you take on an issue, you cannot be bought and paid for, and I am not bought and paid for.”
According to Taylor Downs, the Eastern Panhandle coordinator for the Perdue campaign, the treasurer will return to the area April 30 for the Democratic straw poll fundraiser being held at the Charles Town racetrack.
Perdue understands the complexities of the Eastern Panhandle, he said. Downs insisted that Perdue plans to return to Shepherdstown, though an official schedule has not been laid out. Those interested in more information about Perdue can visit www.johnperdue.com