"When you see something that in your heart you know is not right, you've got to do something about it," he said.
His children, too, live outside the state.
The Democrats are scrappers, too. Again, only a sampling:
House Speaker Rick Thompson, whose father was killed in a mine accident, was raised by his grandparents.
He went to Marshall for a year, ran out of money, worked a summer railroad job, served two years in the Army, and went back to finish Marshall and law school in four years.
Treasurer John Perdue grew up in humble circumstances in Dog Fork Hollow in Boone County. The trajectory of his life changed when a teacher recognized his brother Roger's potential and headed him toward college. That changed his siblings' lives, too.
Secretary of State Natalie is the youngest of seven children who grew up on a farm in Marion County. They all knew they had to pull their own weight.
She didn't get a graduation present. Graduation was expected of her.
Acting Senate President Jeff Kessler grew up among the coal miners and steelworkers of Marshall County listening to "the sound of the trains running and whistles blowing and the steel mills working and the people humming."
When he went to college, what he noticed was the quiet.
Acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin remembers drawing water from a well and making trips "down the path" for certain functions.
A teacher at Chapmanville High School headed him into public service. Like some of the others, Tomblin was the first in his family to go to college.
All these people deserve respect. Agree or disagree with what they propose, do recognize that some people work a lot harder to make democracy work than others do.
I hope, next cycle, that more people make more effort to attend meet-the-candidate meetings.
The right question can make it more interesting than you expect.
Maurice is editorial page editor of the Daily Mail. She may be reached at 348-4802 or ha...@dailymail.com.