Wheeling resident, entrepreneur, and a Democrat Ralph Baxter announced Tuesday he’s running for office, challenging the incumbent Republican Congressman David McKinley in West Virginia’s First Congressional District.
Baxter grew up in the region the son of a steelworker and a secretary. But he’s known in the Northern Panhandle for relocating his law firm Orrick from San Francisco to Wheeling back in 2001. He announced his bid today from the law firm he led for almost 25 years.
“When I stood here in 2001 there was a tree growing out of the middle of this building, today it is home to hundreds of good-paying West Virginia jobs, and has spurned growth in other businesses throughout Wheeling,” Baxter said.
“Much like me when I first ran for Governor in 1988, Ralph is entering public service a businessman, not a politician,” said former West Virginia Governor Gaston Caperton in a press release. “That background served me well in bringing common sense to Charleston, and it will help Ralph do the same in Washington.”
Baxter said he’s a proven job-creator and his goal as a representative would be to continue to focus on jobs, and shaping a new, economically viable future for the region.
“We can continue to elect the same old politicians to try to turn the clock back to the 1950s” Baxter said. “Or, we can take control of our own destiny and our own government, and look forward to the future. I believe it is time for a change, and I believe I can be the person who brings change to our district.”
Ralph Baxter and his wife Cheryl live in Wheeling and are parents of four adult children.