NFIB’s Support Of Cole Significant

Political endorsements often are relatively inconsequential. Frequently they mean only that groups with narrow self-interests like candidates based solely on those issues.

But an endorsement of Republican candidate for governor Bill Cole last week was different. It came from West Virginia’s leading organization of small businesses, the National Federation of Independent Business.

Small businesses are the lifeblood of any economy. They provide more jobs, by far, than larger enterprises. Almost always, the men and women who own and manage small businesses live in the communities they serve. They know their customers as well as their employees. They are concerned about the future not just for their small stores and plants, but also for their neighbors.

With about 2,000 members, the NFIB is a true statewide, grassroots organization. So when its political action committee, the Save America’s Free Enterprise Trust, endorsed Cole, the support was significant.

Also important is the fact the endorsement was not decided by a small panel of the organization’s leaders. Before endorsing, the NFIB checked candidates for governor on various issues — and conducted a statewide poll of the group’s members. They expressed “overwhelming support for Cole,” according to the NFIB.

Cole, of Mercer County, is a small business owner himself. He also is president of the West Virginia State Senate. In that position during the past year and a half, he and other lawmakers have enacted important measures to move the state forward.

NFIB State Director Gil White, of Wheeling, summed up the reason for the endorsement: “Bill Cole understands the need to bring new businesses and new jobs to West Virginia and to create an environment where our existing businesses can grow and prosper.”

Precisely.

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