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The Gazette-Mail endorses Andrew Robinson in the Democratic Primary for West Virginia’s 17th District state Senate seat, representing part of Kanawha County.

Robinson has been effective as a member of the House of Delegates and has proposed legislation that would be beneficial to West Virginia’s economy and the state’s efforts to combat population loss. We think he could be even more effective in the Legislature’s upper chamber.

He has a worthy opponent in first-time candidate Jon Hague. Hague has good ideas concerning stabilizing the state’s economy and addressing the addiction crisis, along with other perennial problems in West Virginia. However, Robinson has more experience.

A West Virginia University grad, Robinson said he’s been fixated on West Virginia’s loss of young talent since, in preparing for an event, he realized almost all of his Capital High School classmates were no longer living in West Virginia.

Robinson has introduced legislation multiple times to start technical education and training at the middle school level, an initiative we think could get young West Virginians thinking earlier in life about a future in-state with a good job. Such practical initiatives could help in stemming addiction problems before they start and put young West Virginians on a career track, or at least get them to see possibilities within the state exist, which could also help the state’s workforce participation problem.

He has sound positions on everything from expanding broadband in West Virginia to making the state more business friendly without giving away dollars to outside interests that wouldn’t return the favor with investment.

Robinson also supports extending anti-discrimination support to the LGBTQ community, something that will allow a significant a part of the state’s population to avoid living in fear. This also would make West Virginia more attractive to outside businesses or startups looking for a location.

Robinson has the leadership skills and ability to work on problems that impact actual West Virginians, rather than engaging in political battles that reflect larger ideologies not applicable to the state in any meaningful way. We think he’s the right choice to face Republican Eric Nelson for the seat in November’s general election.

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