Something’s in the air in DC, and it smells a lot like coal dust to me. Last week, Jay Rockefeller called on coal companies to stop using scare tactics and denying the inevitable energy changes. Now I’m learning that, just before the Senator’s speech, one coal county sent a big, sooty cloud toward Washington. This one, though, was directed at The White House.
In the May Democratic primary, Mingo County, West Virginia gave 61 percent of the vote to Keith Judd, a convicted felon. Now mind you, Judd isn’t the kind of felon who paid his debt to society and is trying to make things right. He is serving time right now in a Texas prison for a fraud conviction. Somehow he managed to get himself on the West Virginia ballot and beat the President of the United States.
I heard about this unlikely showdown while riding in the car today. I was listening to the below NPR piece from Noah Adams, who is no stranger to these parts. He wrote the 2001 book Far Appalachia: Following the New River North and has regularly covered the region.
Take a listen to the story, and please oh please tell me what you think. Does Mingo County represent WV on this, or is it the outlier? What do you make of the locals interviewed in this piece? And is coal the new black, cause it sure seems to be getting a lot of attention?