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Harris announces candidacy

By Staff | Jan 13, 2012

CHARLES TOWN – Matthew Harris, a businessman who has lived in Jefferson County for about five years, will run in May’s Republican primary election in the hopes of winning the Republican nomination for the 67th District in the West Virginia House of Delegates.

Harris, the owner of real estate company CMI LLC, has been in the real estate business on and off for 12 years and has never run for a state-level political office before, he said in a phone interview Tuesday morning.

“My idea, and I feel very strong about this, is empowering the people’s vote on the House floor. In other words, the people of West Virginia are so hidden away from what’s going on on the House floor,” Harris said. “They deserve to know more about what’s going on and how the decisions on the House floor affect their lives.”

Harris added that the state’s budgeting process needs to be changed so that citizens see a greater benefit from the way tax dollars are spent. He also feels local legislators can play a greater role in attracting businesses to the area.

“Unfortunately, in my own opinion, our incumbents are not pushing the envelope to promote employment in the area, in the Eastern Panhandle,” Harris said. “I feel that we just need better management.”

While Harris is running as a Republican, he feels that – because of his political views – he is more of an independent candidate than most Republicans.

Harris said he’ll likely spend between $3,000 and $5,000 on his primary campaign and that he has turned down outside campaign donations because he feels people don’t need to add to their financial burdens to support his election efforts.

The primary election is scheduled for May 8, and the general election is set for Nov. 6. Elliot Simon, the Republican nominee for the delegate district in 2010, also is running in the Republican primary. The 67th District includes Shepherdstown, Harpers Ferry, Bolivar, Shenandoah Junction and part of the Blue Ridge Mountain.

Additional election information is available online at either www.sos.wv.gov or www.jeffersoncountyclerkwv.org.