I'm a little late writing this, but, now that the dust has cleared from the West Virginia primary, but I have some advice for the whoever wins the election to succeed Alan Mollohan:
To paraphrase Mae West (but NOT in the same context): Come down and see us sometime.
It's something, frankly, that, during his nearly three decades in office, Mollohan seemed to do only when it suited him...usually when it was thought he might face a tough re-election bid.
Once such instance was 2006, when we first heard Mollohan was facing ethics charges. He seemed to be all over the area, either meeting with local elected officials or appearing at an event with people who, at least publicly, supported him.
Yes, I know Mollohan was responsible for funneling money to the area, recently with the proposed Parkersburg Riverfront Park project. But I'm not sure the average person appreciates that as much as city officials do.
And I know a congressman/woman's effectiveness has little to do with how often he/she sets foot in the area. I also don't know how often Mollohan made public appearances in the Wheeling-Clarksburg area where he's from.
But showing up and talking to average people doesn't hurt, even in the "electronic/cyber media" era. In Ohio, it didn't hurt Ted Strickland's re-election bids when he (often) visited Marietta and Washington County when he represented that state's 6th District. During the 1990's, it seemed like I saw 2nd Dstrict Congressman Bob Wise more in Parkersburg than I saw Mollohan (although Wise, in hindsight, might have had his eyes on the Governor's office he won in 1990).
Like Mollohan, the remaining Democratic and Republican candidates are from the northern part of West Virginia. However, Democrat Mike Oliverio, who has family in Parkersburg, has pledged that, if elected, he plans to visit here often.
He, and his Republican opponent, David McKinley, should be held to that.