TAZEWELL, Va. — Two Democrats are vying for their party’s nomination June 12 in a high-profile contest for the Third Legislative District House of Delegates seat.
Incumbent Delegate Dan Bowling, D-Tazewell, is being challenged by Michael G. “Mickey” McGlothlin in the Democratic Party primary. A Republican candidate hasn’t been announced to date for the Third District contest, which includes Tazewell, Russell and Buchanan counties.
Bowling and McGlothlin were interviewed last week by the editorial board of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph on a variety of topics of concern to Southwest Virginia, including the Coalfields Expressway, job creation, unemployment rates and the war on drugs.
Bowling, who lives on a family farm near Tazewell, was first elected to the House of Delegates in a special election on Jan. 3, 2006. Bowling said he remains committed to job creation, regional cooperation, meeting the needs of law enforcement and emergency medical personnel, completing the Coalfields Expressway and pursuing a diversified economy for the legislative district.
“For the past two years that I’ve held the Virginia House of Delegates seat, I’ve listened attentively to the working families in Russell, Tazewell and Buchanan counties,” Bowling, who is particularly proud of legislation introduced last session allowing for increased cooperation among border communities such as Bluefield, said. “Our economy is probably what we need to think about first. We need jobs for people who are unemployed and under employed in our region.”
McGlothlin, who was born in Richlands, currently resides in Buchanan County but also owns a farm in Tazewell County. He is the current county attorney for Buchanan County, and also previously served as the Commonwealth Attorney for Buchanan County. He is campaigning on a pledge of putting Southwest Virginia first, and is advocating the creation of high-quality jobs, fighting the war on drugs in Southwest Virginia, developing a plan for progress, completing the Coalfields Expressway, “showcasing” the Third District, and helping with the restoration of historic Pocahontas.
“I’ve been Commonwealth Attorney or County Attorney for Buchanan County for more than 20 years,” McGlothlin said. “I believe in service in the community. I believe we have a duty to serve our country. I think we need to do what we can to make this a better country for our children and grandchildren. But in our area, we are behind in so many different ways. The Third District has been largely running without a game plan. We need goals and we need plans to reach these goals.”
Both candidates are hoping to expedite construction on the Coalfields Expressway in Southwest Virginia. The 51-mile four-lane corridor will extend through Buchanan, Dickenson and Wise counties before connecting with West Virginia. Virginia has partnered with two private coal companies that will help to develop the roadway bed by extricating coal.
Bowling said he is working with Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, and members of both legislative bodies, to secure additional state revenue for the project which he hopes will be matched by additional federal dollars.
“My understanding is it’s very close now,” Bowling said of the possibility of additional state and federal dollars for the project. “The connector route is the primary thing happening right now.”
McGlothlin said it is critical to put construction of the Coalfields Expressway on a fast track in Southwest Virginia. He also hopes to see more seed money for the project coming from the state.
“I am pleased we have gotten to this point,” McGlothlin said of the current work underway on the roadway. “But I don’t think we can be too pleased with the progress.”
Bowling, who has been endorsed for re-election by Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, welcomes the endorsement, and believes it is proper for the governor to make an endorsement in the Democratic primary.
“I think the governor has a right to endorse anyone he wants to,” Bowling said. “Personally, I’ve been told I’m the only candidate in he primary (elections) he’s endorsed. I think he knows I’m a hard worker, and my heart is in Southwest Virginia. I do work closely with the governor, and I do have a very effective relationship with the governor.”
McGlothlin said he too if elected will have an effective working relationship with the governor.
“Even though the governor isn’t supporting me, and even though I didn’t support him in the last election, I’m very willing to work with him,” McGlothlin said. “I have talked to him. I think he is the type of person that once an election is over is willing to looking at ideas and issues. I think if he would have looked at our backgrounds, I think I have a tremendous amount of experience. All people in Virginia want a better way of life. I think everyone who is in the Virginia Generally Assembly in their heart of hearts wants to make Virginia a better place. I’m willing to listen to anybody and talk these things out to try to arrive at a solution to the problems of Virginia and Southwest Virginia.”
Both candidates also are concerned about recent efforts to trim state government at the expense of Southwest Virginia, including proposed closures of Virginia Employment Commission offices as well as the recent — but ultimately rejected — plan to close Virginia Department of Transportation maintenance offices across Southwest Virginia.
“We were going to lose more VDOT maintenance headquarters than anywhere else in the state,” Bowling said. “Two of them were critical, including Big Rock and one in Russell County. We had to make a strong case.”
Bowling said he plans to contact VEC Commissioner Dolores Esser to personally protest proposed VEC office closures in Southwest Virginia.
“The Cumberland Plateau Planning District won’t have a VEC office if those are closed,” Bowling said.
Bowling also is seeking another public hearing for Tazewell and Buchanan counties — adding the hearing scheduled for St. Paul was too far away for residents of Tazewell and Buchanan to attend.
“I don’t think you can call it a town hall meeting and have it that far away,” Bowling said. “You have to give VDOT credit. At least they had their public hearing at our college (Southwest Virginia Community College).”
McGlothlin said the VEC offices are critical to Southwest Virginia, including the call center in Grundy that employs 67.
“I think it’s always easier to come into the rural areas and cut our jobs than it is in the big cities,” McGlothlin said. “That office in Grundy employs 67 people — 23 of those jobs are full time. The rest of them are part-time jobs. I think it’s questionable that you would want to close the employment commission offices in Grundy and Richlands.”
McGlothlin said if Southwest Virginia is to succeed with creating new high-paying jobs — including those proposed at the Bluestone Regional Business and Technology Park in Bluefield, Va. — it is critical for the local VEC offices to remain open.
Both candidates also are committed to winning the war against drugs in Southwest Virginia.
“Honestly, I think some of the legislation I’ve seen passed in West Virginia, I would like to take that to Virginia,” Bowling said of laws aimed at controlling methadone clinics in neighboring West Virginia. “The methadone clinic down near Richlands that I drive past every day, I think it’s just a filling station. The sad thing about the methadone clinics is if they are used properly, it would help some people break their addiction. But some people abuse it. They come back and back and back again.”
McGlothlin is actively campaigning on a goal of fighting the drug war in Southwest Virginia.
“We know we have a significant drug problem in our area,” McGlothlin said. “We have to look at what we can do in our region to try to address our problems. We have a lot of parts of the state that have drug courts. We have a drug court in Tazewell County, but we don’t have one in Buchanan or Russell counties.”
McGlothlin said reaching the younger generation — which is at a greater risk of being trapped by drug and alcohol addiction — is critical.
“We need to talk about what we can do to warn our 18 to 21 year olds about underage drinking,” McGlothlin aid. “We need to talk about how we can better supervise our 18 to 21 years old to keep them from abusing drugs and alcohol.”
Despite recent successes in diversifying the economy of Southwest Virginia, including the 700 plus technology jobs that are being created in Russell County by CGI and Northrop Grumman and the creation of the Appalachian School of Law and the University of Appalachia College of Pharmacy in Grundy, both candidates are committed to supporting future projects, including the proposed Bluestone technology park in Tazewell County.
Bowling said the key to bringing CGI and Northrop Grumman to Southwest Virginia was the creation of the 200-plus mile OC48 fiber-optic broadband backbone in Southwest Virginia. Bowling said he was a member of the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors when work began on the broadband project.
“If this proves to be successful in Lebanon, you will see other companies come,” Bowling said of CGI and Northrop Grumman. “With the Bluestone, I was there on day one when they voted to buy the Bluestone property. We voted to go ahead and apply for the funding to get the sewer and water to the project.”
When it comes to diversifying the economy, and fighting for new high-paying jobs with good benefits, lawmakers representing Southwest Virginia must remain aggressive, McGlothlin said.
“You don’t stop,” McGlothlin said. “You always have to have some project in front of you.”
In addition to the Bluestone project in Bluefield, McGlothlin sees great potential in the proposed Poplar Gap project in Buchanan County. McGlothlin said the University of Appalachian College of Pharmacy also is pursuing a lab expansion, and he hopes to see the development of another industrial park in Richlands.
“If we are going to be successful, we really must be regional,” McGlothlin said. “It’s
Bowling previously served one term on the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors. He currently holds the rank of full professor in the engineering division of Southwest Virginia Community College and previously served f as the director of the Cisco Training Center.
Bowling graduated from Tazewell High School in 1966. He attended Southwest Virginia Community College finishing with the first associate degree class in 1970. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Bluefield State College in 1977 and a Masters Degree from Virginia Tech in 1981.
Bowling has served as an adult Sunday school teacher for more than 10 years and has served since 2003 as the pastor of the Bradshaw Memorial Church in Belfast.
McGlothlin, who was born in Richlands, graduated from Garden High School, received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and Jurisprudence Degree the Marshall Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary.
McGlothlin is a charter member of the board of directors of New Peoples Bank and has been involved in the practice of law since 1984. As county attorney, McGlothin has assisted the Buchanan County Board of Supervisors with several projects, including bringing the Keen Mountain Correctional Center to Buchanan County and establishing the Appalachian School of Law and the University of Appalachian College of Pharmacy . He is currently a member of the board of trustees of the Appalachian School of Law and serves as the school’s treasurer. McGlothlin also has been a member of the college board of the University of Virginia’s College at Wise since 1985 and is also the secretary and member of the board of the McGlothlin Foundation, which provides financial support for higher education, health care and the arts throughout the region.
McGlothlin also served as secretary of the Buchanan County Democratic Party for 10 years, and has been a member of the American Bar Association since 1977. He is a member and past president of the Buchanan County Bar Association, and a member and past president of the Grundy Kiwanis Club where he was Kiwanian of the year in 1994 and 1995.
— Contact Charles Owens at email@example.com
- Local News
- Home invasion nets 1 arrest
- Community Christmas Tree short of fundraising goal
- Lashmeet hit with breaking and enterings
- Safety precautions taken on Interstate 77
- Nurses asking to speak with hospital management
- Breaking and enterings hit Lashmeet area
- Right lane of Interstate 77 at three-mile marker still closed
- Man fatally hit by train
- Rescuers coax dogs out of hiding at War house
- Blaze destroys Matoaka home, sends one to hospital
- National and World
- Wags and barks speak volumes when talking to dogs
- URGENT Lawyer: NY engineer had ’daze’ before train wreck
- Ex-Palestinian negotiator: Israeli deal impossible
- Newtown to release 911 calls from school shooting
- Nigerian man survives three days at bottom of Atlantic
- Fast-food strikes aim at 100 US cities
- California Arab sparks debate over ethnic mascots
- Happy 100th to the crossword puzzle
- 6 ways health-care reform can help end America's AIDS epidemic
- Americans spent $9.74 billion on Black Friday
- Local Sports
- Panther pelting
- Giles’ single wing attack is a snap for Suroski
- Youth movement on the floor for G-Girls
- Rebels trap Bears, Green Wave falls to Indians
- Bluefield’s Simon selected as Coach of the Year
- ‘Elite Eleven’ honored as Player of Year banquet
- Bland County shoots past Rebels; Bulldogs bite Marion
- W.Va. girls basketball scores
- College Sports
- Badgers win ugly against Virginia
- Bluefield, Virginia Tech women fall on road
- C-USA contenders Marshall, Rice returning next season
- WVU ’must get better,’ Holgorsen safe
- Carey wins 250th at West Virginia
- Eddie’s 34 leads Hokies past Winthrop
- Second half run sends Big Blues past Scots
- WVU leashes Greyhounds
- BC's Lubsey is Mid-South player of the week
- All-ACC football lists revealed
- MICKEY FURFARI
- Other Sports Columns
- Column: 'Elite 11' to be honored Tuesday
- Big stakes ahead in college football
- Column: Local teams still have state dreams
- Column: One game at a time? Ask Virginia Tech
- Coaches look for growth
- Investigation should shed light on bullying scandal in Miami
- Shakeups sure to leave good teams out of BCS title game
- New season, new hope
- Changes to NCAA foul rules could lead to free-throw marathons
- The G-Men believed, even if no one else did
- How to care for a cut Christmas tree
- Bionic arms allow double amputee to do everyday tasks
- Are fake eggs the future?
- Painkillers may curb memory loss from medical marijuana
- Gift Guide: Plenty of laptops, even on budgets
- RECIPE: Tacos that break with tradition
- Fertility doctors aim to lower rate of twin births
- Fitness and safety concerns
- Calling all chocoholics
- 6 creative ways to use your Thanksgiving leftovers
- Featured Local Videos
- AP Editor's Pick
- Newtown Dispatcher Urged Callers to Take Cover Gas Station Banksy Art at Beverly Hills Auction Rockwell's 'Saying Grace' Sets Auction Records Obama: Income Inequality a Defining Challenge
- Pet Talk
- Pet Talk: A dog's friendship requires no sound
- Pets are perfect companions for the elderly
- Pet Talk: The importance of a 'pet'icure
- Pet Talk: Tips for preventing a dog attack
- Pet Talk: Safely medicating Spot
- Pet snakes can slither their way into your heart
- Bringing home 'Babe': What you should know before getting a pet pig
- Disaster plans should include contingencies for pets
- A common nuisance for cats, hairballs also can be dangerous
- Understanding and overcoming your pet's fears
- BBQ My Way
- BBQ My Way: Liz's chicken enchilada casserole
- Crock pot sausage, sauerkraut a perfect autumn meal
- BBQ My Way: Fall veggie pizza
- BBQ My Way: Arguments aside, there's just one authentic recipe for wings
- BBQ My Way: Judging a chili cook-off
- BBQ My Way: Creamy squash soup
- BBQ My Way: Grilled swai with fire-roasted salsa
- BBQ My Way: Pairing beer with food
- BBQ My Way: Back to basics, with pulled pork
- BBQ My Way: Grilled chicken wrap with spicy slaw
- Sister Newspapers' Blogs
- Live blog: A historically-accurate reenactment of JFK's assassination
- 50 years can't fade a day to remember
- Do animals understand pointing like humans do?
- Health care choice another of Obama's broken promises
- A night to remember … my first pie supper
- Have you updated your bucket list?
- Japanese find a new source of natural gas
- Uncle Ed: Vain as a peacock, cool as a cucumber
- The softer side of veterinary science
- When the earth moves under our feet
- Feature Services
- Black Friday: The best tech deals to look for
- Overlap with Thanksgiving prompts second look at Hanukkah
- Man loses banana peel injury case, faces criminal charges
- 5 myths about health care's 'young invincibles'
- Turkeys are funny-looking and tasty, but can they fly?
- As mobile gadgets become bigger, some companies abandon websites altogether
- A short course on the history of Thanksgiving foods
- Old-school toys dominate holiday lists
- After Bieber's visit, fight over graffiti in Colombia
- How does a Secret Service agent manage to leave behind a bullet in a hotel room?
- Viginia News
- Luray Caverns gives $50,000 to restore battlefield
- United Way of the Virginias removed from world organization
- McDonnell ending term with scandal-stained year
- Tractor-trailer crash in Va. kills 80 hogs
- Va. woman charged with killing her mother
- Missing Va. teen focus of Sunday search
- Holiday getaway day slowed by gray weather
- Snake found on defendant in Roanoke court
- Republican to seek recount in Va. AG’s race
- Danville mom pleads guilty in infant’s death
- West Virginia News
- Potential budget cuts as W.Va. revenues decline
- Ex-Mingo magistrate pleads guilty to vote charge
- Survey: W.Va. youth tobacco use declines
- United Way of the Virginias removed from world organization
- McDowell County authorities offer reward in arson case
- Former West Virginia muscle car owner turns to electric
- W.Va. Democratic Party executive director leaving
- Congress seeks medal for WW II-era US spy agency
- Judge: Ex-Mingo judge properly notified of lawsuit
- W.Va. ski season opening with plenty of snow