SUMMERSVILLE, W. Va. — The appointed senator representing the 11th District in West Virginia has announced he intends to seek the position by vote of the people in 2016.
Since the end of the regular legislative session in March, Republican Senator Greg Boso said he has had the opportunity to meet with those he represented.
“I’ve been out meeting a number of the people throughout the district,” he said. “There’s a lot of territory to cover, but I’m really excited about serving the folks in the 11th Senatorial.”
The Nicholas County native was first named to fill the vacancy left by Clark Barnes –who became the Senate Clerk– in January by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, selected from a list of names compiled by the Republican 11th District Senatorial Committee.
Boso is intrigued by the idea of being able to prepare for the job, should the opportunity be presented to him.
“My appointment was made on the Friday after session started and I started work on Monday,” he said. “Everybody else had three months to get their things in order after they were elected to their respective positions, I had all of about three days.”
When asked to reintroduce himself on Monday’s edition of The Mike Queen Show, he described himself as a family man, a man of faith, a chaplain with the Summersville Fire Department, a high school soccer referee and a civil engineer by trade.
His work as the president of G.L. Boso & Associates, Inc. and Boso & Boso, Inc. in Summersville has recently led to him working on a multi-million dollar project in his district.
“We’re in the process of designing right now the new campus facility for New River Community and Technical College that will be constructed in Nicholas County,” he said. “That will be about a $10 million investment in Nicholas County, so I’m pretty excited about the design work.”
On the campaign trail, Boso said his number one priority will be bringing jobs to the state.
The issue is one of concern for his home county, where after years of the economy being driven by the coal industry, mines are closing more frequently.
After speaking with coal operators, Boso is concerned that the cost shutting down a mine will prohibit the sites from opening up again.
“The Coal Safety and Jobs Act we just passed this past legislative session gives a little relief to that,” he said. “But, because those operations are already shutting down, the coal operators have told me that they will not be reopening those particular locations.”
As a result of the shutdowns, $1.4 million were lost in coal severance tax revenues from last year, leading to layoffs within the county government.
His goal as senator would be to find other avenues to reopen the mines and restore the jobs, but also to find a way to diversify the economy, branching out into other, high tech industries.
“I’m already talking with folks at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory up in the Greenbank area, as well as folks in the Technology Corridor [in Fairmont]…just trying to find other areas, other ways that within West Virginia, we can invest and bring jobs from other cluttered metropolitan areas to West Virginia.”
Boso’s first opportunity to receive the people’s vote would be the May 2016 Primary Election.
The 11th senatorial district includes Nicholas, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Randolph, Upshur and Webster Counties, as well as part of Grant County.