WHEELING - The West Liberty University Economics Club will welcome a member of Congress and several nationally known columnists and political analysts to Wheeling for its annual speaker series.
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., who represents West Virginia's 2nd Congressional District and is the likely Republican nominee this year for the U.S. Senate seat to be vacated by retiring longtime Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., will kick off the series at noon March 18 at River City Ale Works in downtown Wheeling.
The Economics Club will welcome columnist and author Cal Thomas on April 3; political analyst Chris Stirewalt of Fox News on May 22; Rich Lowry, editor of the National Review, on June 26; and Heartland Institute research fellow Joy Pullmann, whose reporting and commentary on education has earned her national acclaim, on July 24.
Thomas' and Lowry's columns are featured each week in The Intelligencer.
The speaker series is funded through a grant from BB&T. The WLU Economics Club is sponsored by the school's Center for Economic Philosophy. All events take place at River City Ale Works at 14th and Main streets in downtown Wheeling, and are open to the public.
The speaker series "seeks to engage faculty, students and the public in serious and sustained examination of the free market," WLU spokeswoman Maureen Zambito said.
Some of the topics Capito expects to address include the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the state of the economy both in West Virginia and nationally, and what she believes is holding the country back from a full recovery following the Great Recession.
Capito, who has appeared at a prior WLU Economics Club event, said she's looking forward to hearing from local residents.
"You always get some good questions," Capito said. "We'll see where the discussion goes."
Cal Thomas has worked in print and broadcast journalism for more than 40 years. He has written more than 10 books, and his columns appear in more than 500 newspapers nationwide, including The Intelligencer. Thomas has appeared as a political contributor on Fox News since 1997.
Chris Stirewalt is the digital politics editor for Fox News, where he has worked since 2010. Stirewalt's career began at The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register and included other stops in West Virginia and also the Washington Examiner, where he served as politics editor.
Rich Lowry's journalism career spans more than 20 years, leading up to his current role as editor of the National Review. His syndicated columns appear regularly in The Intelligencer. Lowry has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times and a variety of other publications, and is the author of the bestselling book "Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years."
Joy Pullmann is a research fellow for The Heartland Institute and serves as managing editor of School Reform News. Pullman taught history, literature and debate in both middle school and high school and has traveled nationwide to speak on issues impacting education. Her recent reporting and commentary questions the effectiveness of Common Core standards, a set of requirements adopted by 46 states in 2010 that standardize what elementary and secondary school children should know in each grade in math and language arts.
To reserve a seat for any of the events, call West Liberty University Vice President for Community Engagement Jeff Knierim at 304-336-8301 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. There is a cost to attend.