Meet West Virginia's 2011 third-party gubernatorial candidates

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July 15, 2011

West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia: West Virginia's special gubernatorial election will be held October 4, 2011. The acting governor, Democrat Earl Ray Tomblin, has secured his party's nomination, and will face Republican businessman Bill Maloney for the Mountain state's top executive position. But that's not all.

In West Virginia, candidates earn a place on the general election ballot in one of three ways: securing a nomination from a political party that captured at least 1% of the voters in the previous election, filing a petition with 1,765 valid signatures, or paying a filing fee that is equivalent to 1% of the annual salary of the office. For this election, the filing fee was $1,500.

Three other candidates have passed muster and will join the Tomblin and Maloney on the ballot.

Green Party#Mountain Party Dr. Bob Henry Baber is a Mountain Party candidate from Gilmer, WV. Currently a major gifts officer at Glenville State College, he has worked as a grant writer, Appalachian poet, creative writing teacher and mosaic artist. He is the former chair of the West Virginia Mountain/Green Party and the current Poet Laureate of Richwood, WV.[1] His platform includes "fiscal responsibility, economic growth, affordable health care, promotion of education, and environmental stewardship." He earned a B.A. from Antioch College and a PhD from the Union Institute.[2]

Independent Marla Ingels is an Independent candidate from Mason, WV. She is a native of West Virginia and has worked in the public schools as an elementary school counselor for the past 8 years. According to her website, she wants to "make education meaningful again," keep representatives focused on the needs of their constituents, and hold insurance companies accountable. She holds a B.S. in psychology and a MEd in special education from West Virginia University and a Master in counseling from Marshall Graduate College.[3]

Harry Bertram is an American Third Position Party candidate from Monongalia. An Army veteran and locomotive engineer, he touts himself as the "candidate who represents the forgotten majority of West Virginia."[4] According to the platform outlined on his website, he supports the second amendment, private schools and homeschooling, and increased freedom of healthcare-related choices. His campaign takes a "Pro-Family values" stance, and favors ability and performance-based selection over affirmative action, quotas, and sex-based preferences.[4] In his own words, Bertram explains "my platform is conservative like the Tea Party but more racialist inclined."[5]

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