Photo caption: Huntington Mayor Steve Williams filed as a pre-candidate for the West Virginia’s governor race on Oct. 26, 2023. (Will Price | West Virginia Legislative Photography)

BY: LORI KERSEY – OCTOBER 26, 2023 6:07 PM

Huntington Mayor Steve Williams filed Thursday as a pre-candidate in the West Virginia governor’s race.

Williams, a Huntington native and former Marshall University football player, was elected mayor of Huntington in 2012 and re-elected in 2016 and 2020. He previously served in the House of Delegates, representing Cabell and Wayne counties from 1987 to 1994.

“I’m running for governor because I believe the best of West Virginia is yet to come,” Williams said in a news release. “From revitalizing Huntington’s economy to combating the opioid crisis with innovative solutions, my track record speaks for itself.”

Williams pointed to successes in his role as mayor, including a surplus, new businesses and the city being recognized in a nationwide competition as America’s Best Community and awarded a $3 million dollar prize that was leveraged to bring in millions of dollars in revitalization, he said. 

“We can no longer kick the can down the road on our problems,” Williams said. “Whether it’s the state’s struggling foster care system, the lack of personnel in the department of corrections, or the financial crisis in higher education, we have to address these problems right now. The future of our state is at stake.” 

Williams is one of two Democrats who have filed as pre-candidates in the race. Cecil Silva is the other Democrat. Republicans who have said they’re running include Del. Moore Capito, car dealer Chris Miller, Secretary of State Mac Warner and Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

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