MORGANTOWN, W.Va. Despite being massively outspent, Chris Rose defeated two-term state senator Mike Maroney, R-Marshall, in the May primary election by more than 2,800 votes in his first run for political office.

On WAJR’s “Talk of the Town,” Rose said the campaign was won on hard work and face-to-face contact with voters in the district that covers three counties and portions of three others. Campaign finance reports show Rose spent $54,282.66, compared to $1,187,298.43 spent by Maroney.

“Hopefully this race is an example to people that you don’t have to have a lot of money; you just have to have the will and the willingness to get out there and fight to make that difference,” Rose said. “The fact that we were willing to go out and meet the voters at their homes made all the difference at the end of the day.”

The district encompasses all or portions of Monongalia, Marion, Doddridge, Marshall, Tyler, and Wetzel counties, and Rose believes he has knocked on more than 4,000 doors during the campaign.

“Three gentlemen in a pickup truck are traveling this district, a very large six-county district,” Rose said. “Door knocking and having front porch conversations with voters, getting to know the people in the district, hearing their needs and concerns, and hearing what I stand for.”

Rose said he will support policies that encourage energy production and snub policies that provide subsidies for renewable energy. Energy produced from wind and solar is only competitive because of government subsidies, according to Rose.

“Free market capitalism is what built this country and made it great,” Rose said. “When we have that same approach with our energy, we have a lot of energy jobs in the state of West Virginia, and we have to get back to that—we have to do what we can to get government out of the way to let the energy sector do what it does.”

Some of the issues Rose talked with voters about were Maroney’s voting record on energy-related issues, and his campaign materials referred to Maroney as a “phony conservative” who does not have Christian values.

“He had a very poor attendance record, and when he did show up, he supported things like the Green New Deal, and we’re an energy district—we have a lot of coal, oil, and gas in the district, and they felt like they were being betrayed with their tax dollars funding the Green New Deal,” Rose said. “They definitely didn’t like some of his other votes on social issues.”

Rose does not face a challenger in the November election, but he has plans to continue the campaign pace and voter engagement through the summer.

“I don’t have a general election opponent, but I feel like I need to be out with the people, introducing myself to them and thanking them for their vote,” Rose said. “Obviously continuing to have those conversations about the wants and needs in the district because that’s what good public servants do.”