Kanawha County Commissioner and Charleston attorney Ben Salango has announced he is running for governor of West Virginia as a Democrat.
In a Thursday speech announcing his campaign, Salango repeatedly took aim at incumbent Republican Gov. Jim Justice for legal woes involving his businesses.
“We need a governor that we can be proud of -- one that's not buried in judgment liens and controversy and ethical scandals, Salango said. “We need someone who actually wants the job, not the title.”
He also criticized Justice for not residing in the state capital of Charleston.
“You will never have to file a lawsuit to get me to go to work,” he said, referencing pending litigation against Justice brought by Del. Issac Sponaugle, D-Pendleton.
Salanago was appointed to the Kanawha County Commission in 2017 and was elected to a full-term in 2018. The 46-year-old attorney is a founding member of Preston & Salango, PLLC. He’s also an investor in H-D Media, the company that owns The Herald-Dispatch and The Charleston Gazette-Mail.
Salango joins state Sen. Ron Stollings and community organizer Stephen Smith as Democrats vying for the party’s nomination.
Gov. Justice, businessman Woody Thrasher and former Del. Michael Folk are on the Republican ticket in the May 2020 primary election.