Battle brewing over West Virginia Transportation Secretary

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W. Va. (WOWK) — Many West Virginians don’t like the condition of their roads. In fact a recent poll by “Research America” shows that 75% are dissatisfied with Mountain State roads. Governor Justice appointed Raleigh County Commissioner Byrd White to be Secretary of Transportation, even though he’s not an engineer. Critics want the State Senate to reject White’s nomination:

“I think if you’re going to take responsibility for all things highways airports, railroads in the state, you need to be a professional engineer. And Byrd simply does not have that experience,” said Woody Thrasher, a Republican candidate for governor.

Governor Jim Justice – who is facing Woody Thrasher in the Republican primary – declined to respond to Thrasher. But in recent weeks, the Governor has touted all the new highway equipment he’s acquired with Byrd White running DOT.

“We will be able to do multiple times as much of the task as we had before in trying to complete the task without equipment or with very, very poor conditioned equipment,” said Gov. Justice on August 1, 2019.

While Byrd White is up for Transportation Secretary, Jimmy Wriston will serve as Commissioner of Highways, since he is an engineer. Very often both jobs are held by the same person.

On Monday the State Senate will meet in Special Session to consider nominations, including Byrd White for Transportation Secretary. Right now it’s uncertain how that vote will turn out.

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