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 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Local News
- State Police accident reconstruction team begins investigation into tragic U.S. Route 52 crash
- Crash kills 2 children
- Victims: Preschool age; Details emerge in fatal crash
- Amber Alert for missing 11-year-old Maryland girl extended to West Virginia
- Witness recalls details at scene
- Residents voice concerns over U.S. Route 52 dangers
- More candidates emerging for Mercer, McDowell elections
- Officials on lookout for missing McDowell teen
- Amber alert extended to W.Va.
- Drivers' names released in deadly crash
- National and World
- Russia and Crimean politicians discuss referendum
- Amber Alert for missing 11-year-old Maryland girl extended to West Virginia
- Girl Scouts asked to end partnership with Barbie
- Russian power play: Crimea vote on joining Russia
- US announces visa restrictions on Russians
- Facebook to delete posts for illegal gun sales
- Israeli naval raid nabs Gaza-bound arms from Iran
- Analysts: Russia unlikely to pull back in Crimea
- Obama's budget aims to rally Democrats
- US prepares $1B aid package for troubled Ukraine
- Local Sports
- Justice served
- Renegades send PikeView to defeat
- Former Ram Omar Reed still ballin’ in Japan
- Bad time for Knights; Bluefield takes 41-0 lead, claims 50-point win
- View better for Panthers
- Eagles pull away late from Tigers
- Princeton advances in sectional Tiger-fight
- Seniors poised to lead Bluefield
- Ambassador Baker
- Weather permitting, sectional hoops to resume tonight
- College Sports
- Georgetown survives against Bluefield
- Ram Tough
- West Virginia, Baylor women top Big 12 tourney
- Marshall falls in season finale
- Jackets sting Cavaliers in ACC
- 5 memorable college hoops tourney buzzer beaters
- Sooners defeat WVU
- Bluefield College baseball wins 13th in a row
- WVU celebrating its Big 12 co-championship
- Concord's Carnett headed for national track championships
- MICKEY FURFARI
- Other Sports Columns
- At least have a good reason to storm the court
- Achieving state supremacy in Virginia basketball will be a tall task for area teams
- Good luck throwing the flag on racial slurs, profanity in football
- Will instant replay settle baseball's furies?
- Column: Memories rekindled on Tazewell Co. hoops circuit
- Limiting college football's offense creates clear winners and losers
- Column: Basketball postseason has a new look in Virginia
- Winter Olympics mystify American sports fans
- Critical times ahead for Hokies
- Will Marcus Smart's hoop dreams rebound from confrontation with fan?
- Ukraine doesn’t keep Obama from Florida vacation
- Recalls this week: cameras, heaters, trimmers
- New SAT: The essay portion is to become optional
- Girl Scouts asked to end partnership with Barbie
- Making your own laundry detergent can be easy
- Running by
- Bluefield's ladder
- Bridal gala planned for Chuck Mathena Center
- USDA adds foods to moms and kids food program
- Rules to limit marketing unhealthy food in schools
- Featured Local Videos
- AP Editor's Pick
- Russians Rally to Absorb Crimea, Others Resist Ted Turner Hospitalized in Argentina Attempted Murder Charges for Mom in Ocean Drive Santorum: GOP Cant Surrender Conservatism to Win
- 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
- Democrats' double-standard brands opponents of Obamacare
- Editor stranded in ice storm experiences truest form of humanity
- 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
- Feature Services
- What you need to know about subtle office bullying
- Study says too much protein could lead to early death
- Winter stifles pollen, but other pests can make allergies worse now
- Polar vortex may prove to be a powerful pesticide
- The only online dating ad you'll ever need
- Actually, that asteroid did not nearly hit Earth
- Does your insurance plan cover self-inflicted injuries?
- Data breach hits Target's profits, but that's only the tip of the iceberg
- Six reasons childhood obesity has fallen so much
- You can examine your doctor's record, but don't expect to learn everything
- Viginia News
- Feds: Dominion nuke plants operated safely in 2013
- Bill aimed at celebratory gunshots heads to Va gov
- Hazmat team finds coal ash in Dan River in Va
- USS Truxtun en route to Black Sea for training
- Ex-head of Va. Tech institute sues over demotion
- FBI, police offer $11,000 reward in Va. slaying
- Va. mom pleads guilty in baby’s death
- Va. panel on military base closings issues report
- Va Supreme Court to hear police recruit death suit
- Gov. for Medicaid expansion
- West Virginia News
- W.Va. House moves bill to protect teacher planning
- W.Va. highway employee charged with lying to FBI
- ’Country Roads’ gets W.Va. recognition
- Police get warrant for missing Md. girl’s dad
- Capito wants US 35 upgrade finished in W.Va.
- FBI visits W.Va. co. that hauled chemicals
- W.Va. plans ’pothole blitz’ to address road damage
- Amber alert extended to W.Va.
- Clarksburg quadruple slaying trial rescheduled
- Fire marshal seeks info about Martinsville blaze