Dem in West Virginia governor race won’t support Clinton

Dem in West Virginia governor race won’t support Clinton
© Getty Images

The Democratic gubernatorial candidate in West Virginia said he cannot support fellow Democrat Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Ex-Clinton aide: Dems should make 2020 'about integrity' Trump mounts Rust Belt defense MORE’s bid for president.

Jim Justice, a billionaire who owns multiple coal mines in the state, told a talk radio host Monday that Clinton’s environmental policies, and their effects on the coal industry, prevent him from supporting her.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I cannot be a supporter of Hillary Clinton,” Justice said Monday on West Virginia MetroNews’s radio show "Talkline."

“The reason I can’t be is her position on coal is diametrically, completely wrong in many, many different ways.”

Clinton attracted anger across West Virginia and other coal-dependent regions when she said in May that, under her presidency, “we're going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”

She later said she made a “misstatement” when highlighting her proposals to help economically devastated coal communities.

But she has pledged to double down on President Obama’s environmental policies, including regulations harmful to the coal industry like the Clean Power Plan.

Justice, meanwhile, sees a good future ahead for coal and criticizes people who say the industry’s decline cannot be stopped.

“Everybody had their heads stuck in the sand and said, ‘It’s over.’ I’m the one that said, ‘Wait a minute. Full stop. I’m not willing to give up on our miners. Full stop,' " Justice said on the radio show. “I’m the one that said, ‘Really and truly, I believe there’s good days in front of us as far as the metallurgical market.' "

Justice is running against state Sen. Bill Cole (R) in the gubernatorial race.

Polls have consistently predicted that Clinton will lose West Virginia by a significant margin to Republican presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Countdown clock is on for Mueller conclusions Omar: White supremacist attacks are rising because Trump publicly says 'Islam hates us' MORE. Clinton lost the state’s primary to Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Biden, Sanders edge Trump in hypothetical 2020 matchups in Fox News poll O'Rourke tests whether do-it-yourself campaign can work on 2020 stage MORE (I-Vt.).