Jody Murphy, is Democratic candidate for governor. A Parkersburg resident, Murphy is a former chamber and economic development official, committed to the growth and development of the state’s economy and retention and recruitment of West Virginia residents.

“If West Virginia is going to grow, it must focus on growing the economy and recruiting and retaining, working-class, tax-paying West Virginians,” he said. “Our state continues to lose population. The folks leaving are working, tax-paying West Virginians. Those who remain are left to shoulder an ever-growing burden of taxes to fund government and pay for services. As we continue to lose population and our severance taxes decline, this model is unsustainable and will cripple our state functions at nearly every level. We need more taxpayers, not more taxes.”

Murphy was chamber executive and economic development official in Pleasants County. He worked with businesses of all sizes to start up, expand and remain viable, including the coal-fired Pleasants Energy Power station, both the largest private employer and taxpayer in the county. Murphy also served as chairman and founder of the Launchpad Initiative, a new business and entrepreneur pitch contest in the Mid-Ohio Valley. Over a three-year period, Launchpad helped more than 75 small business in the eight-county region of the Mid-Ohio Valley.

Prior to working in business and development, Murphy spent almost 15 years as newspaper reporter in Parkersburg and Beckley, covering government, business, education and healthcare. The Fayette County native said those years offered valuable insight into the workings of an economy, the role of government and value of education in moving the state forward. Murphy touts himself as a pragmatist: someone who believes in things that work.

“That starts with working West Virginians,” he said. “They are my No. 1 priority.”

He says West Virginia – to compete with neighboring states – must do things differently and come up with “off the table” ideas and approaches to improving the state.

“We can NOT compete with our neighbors. We have to zig if they zag. We have to do things others won’t and be creative and bold in our approach to move this state and its people forward.”

Murphy has stumped to give land away to attract and diversify the economy, create income-tax free retirement communities, entrepreneurship zones, and opportunities for free post-secondary education.

“If we don’t attract and retain our residents, our working, tax-paying residents, this state, our home, will continue to falter, and we will remain at the bottom of every major economic category in the country.”

Murphy plans to spend the next few months continuing to travel the state speaking to people about his ideas and the need to do things differently.

“I am not rich. I am not well-funded. I am long-shot, underdog candidate, but I am not afraid to fail. I am more afraid of not trying, while our state and its residents continue to struggle.”

For more about his campaign and ideas follow him on Facebook, Murphy4WV, Twitter @Murphy4WV or visit his