West Virginia's First District Congress member, David McKinley, isn't as doctrinaire as some of his fellow Republicans. For example, when GOP budget bills menace Social Security or Medicare, McKinley sometimes breaks with his party -- unlike his Mountain State colleague, Rep. Shelley Capito, R-W.Va. McKinley can be admirable at times.
However, we think America's middle class and average families will be better served if Democrats regain control of the House of Representatives, ensuring humane values on Capitol Hill. So we hope McKinley's Democratic challenger, party organizer Sue Thorn, prevails in the Nov. 6 balloting.
Although she's a first-time candidate, Thorn is no stranger to public life. She helped run Hopeful City, a coalition of 21 church congregations working to improve life in the Northern Panhandle, and she also was a job-creating agent for the Ohio Valley Industrial and Business Development Corporation.
As a Democratic organizer, she took a plunge for Congress when no major figures challenged McKinley. Thanks to West Virginia's lopsided Democratic registration, she drew 13,000 more votes in last spring's primary than the congressional incumbent did. We hope that margin continues next month.
Wealthy conservatives are investing huge sums in McKinley's campaign, while Thorn is running on a shoestring. It's a David-vs.-Goliath race.
During her campaign, Thorn stresses that many West Virginia politicians pose as "Friends of Coal" and take large donations from mine owners, but remain silent about coal dust disease and explosion danger that kill miners. She says her opponent "may be a friend of coal, but he's no friend of coal miners."
The daughter of a union electrician, she says her goal is "rebuilding the middle class." We hope next month's election gives her a chance to try.