Chris Miller launches campaign for Governor of W.Va. | News, Sports, Jobs


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CHARLESTON – Chris Miller, the son of a congressman, a businessman known for his wacky auto ads and a frequent Republican fundraiser, kicked off his campaign for West Virginia governor on Thursday.

According to the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office, Miller filed pre-nomination documents on Thursday. Jared Wyrick, president of the West Virginia Automobile Dealers Association, will be the treasurer of the Miller campaign.

Pre-application allows potential applicants to start fundraising, but does not commit the potential applicant to running for a specific seat before the start of the official submission period.

Speaking by phone Thursday afternoon, Miller said he was running for governor to help launch plans to help reverse West Virginia’s loss of population. The state lost nearly 60,000 residents between 2010 and 2020, resulting in the loss of a congressional district.

Miller said the state’s current economic conditions are reversing these trends.

“Our State, for the first time in a long time, is in fact positioned to take off”, Miller said. “It is extremely important to me to reverse the trends that our state has seen over a long period of time with a declining population and little national respect.

“We are currently presented with an opportunity to grow from a business perspective, to become an easier place to do business and, more importantly, to increase our population due to the trends happening in our country” , Miller continued. “This is something that we absolutely, positively have to accomplish. The state, to be successful in the future, must be able to increase its population. I want to be able to be part of the success, get involved and help everyone. world to go in the right direction.

Miller, a native of Huntington, is an officer with the Dutch Miller chain of car dealerships across much of West Virginia, most notably as chairman of the new Dutch Chevrolet Miller in Ripley. He is one of the sons of 3rd District congressman Carol Miller, who is now in her second term in Congress.

While his mother was at the forefront of politics, having previously been a long-time member of the West Virginia House of Delegates, Miller mainly worked behind the scenes of politics, raising campaign funds for various legislative governments. , state and federal races for Republican candidates.

Miller has mostly been seen in his family’s auto dealership ads, where Miller is known for his wacky and humorous antics, including the spoofing of former President Donald Trump and US Senator Bernie Sanders. But Miller is clear his candidacy is serious.

“I am very, very serious about this” Miller said.

“We are talking about the future not only of my children, but of my grandchildren. We are talking about the future of the grandchildren of this state. It is really important that we are right now. We need to step into the 21st century and really reorganize the way we do a lot of things. To make sure that instead of having a brain drain, we are an attractor of the best and the brightest coming to West Virginia to develop this state.

Miller is the second candidate to file pre-nomination papers for governor in 2024. Republican Terri Bradshaw of Gandeeville also filed papers in August. Many candidates considering a possible candidacy for another seat, such as governor, apply as undeclared pre-candidates in order to raise funds and test the waters.

According to the Secretary of State’s Campaign Finance Ranking System, nine people filed as undeclared pre-candidates in 2024, including Senate Speaker Craig Blair, R-Berkeley; Agriculture Commissioner Kent Leonhardt; State Auditor JB McCuskey; State Treasurer Riley Moore; Secretary of State Mac Warner; and State Senators Patricia Rucker, R-Jefferson; Randy Smith, R-Tucker; and Ryan Weld, R-Brooke.

Miller said he plans to be self-financing and also solicit funds for his campaign from supporters statewide. While the race may be crowded with a number of Republican candidates, he doesn’t see more candidates as an obstacle to his campaign.

“I don’t care how crowded the ground is” Miller said. “There’s a contest happening where the voters in the state choose who they want to lead them. Yes, you might have a geographic battle… but in the end, the best person will be chosen for the job.

Governor Jim Justice, who was re-elected for a second term as governor in 2020, can only serve two consecutive terms at a time, creating an open seat in 2024.

(Adams can be contacted at sadams@newsandsentinel.com)

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