The general election scheduled for Tuesday will be among the most important during recent years, and not just because Americans will be selecting a president. Here in West Virginia, important state-level offices and positions representing us in Congress will be filled.
In many of those races, truly excellent men and women who clearly are the best choices will be on the ballot. Here are our recommendations for voters in this area:
* For the U.S. Senate, incumbent Sen. Joe Manchin is the easy pick for re-election. Manchin, D-W.Va., is among the most fiscally conscientious senators in Washington. His non-partisan attitude about defending our state is important and laudable at a time when political polarization is so prevalent.
* U.S. Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., has represented West Virginia's First Congressional District ably and courageously. McKinley's pro-jobs philosophy and his determination to stop President Barack Obama's war on coal make it important for voters in this area of the state to keep him in Congress.
* Patrick Morrisey should be elected as West Virginia's new attorney general. Morrisey will safeguard consumers, defend the state against heavy-handed federal government initiatives, and handle the state's legal affairs with skill and dedication. He should be elected attorney general to end the current practice of wasting millions of dollars, sometimes for political purposes, in the attorney general's office.
* Kent Leonhardt indeed is "the real farmer in this race," as the West Virginia Farm Bureau put it in endorsing him for state agriculture commissioner. Leonhardt, a Marine veteran who operates a farm in Monongalia County, is the wise choice of voters who want an agriculture commissioner who will make farming and forestry contribute even more to the economy than they do now.
* For the two seats on the state Supreme Court to be filled Tuesday, the candidates who have earned voters' trust are incumbent Justice Robin Davis and Allen Loughry. Davis has proven highly qualified and, just as important, impartial during her years on the high court. Loughry wants the court to be an independent guardian of the rights of West Virginians, following state law and the state constitution rather than a political agenda. Both should receive the votes of Mountain State residents.
The News and Sentinel highly recommends votes be cast for the candidates listed above. Again, each and every one of them stands out in his or her race. They are the best people for the jobs - and should be elected on Tuesday.