House Candidate Boogie Ambler discusses plans to bring prosperity to Greenbrier’s west end

By Matthew Young, RealWV

“I think I left some things on the table that I would like to try and accomplish, and several of those dealt with the western side of Greenbrier County. There’s some things that I have in mind, and in speaking with some of the people on the western end, I think that we can work together and maybe help that side of the county prosper a little more.”

That’s what Republican George “Boogie” Ambler said on Wednesday, regarding his decision to run for the District 47 seat in the state’s House of Delegates. 

“That’s the primary reason – I want to serve the people out there,” Ambler noted. “I want this job back, and I want to try to see what I can do.”

Ambler, who previously served in the West Virginia House of Delegates from 2013 until 2019, is one of three Republicans and two Democrats vying to replace current Delegate Todd Longanacre. Longanacre announced late last year that he will not be seeking re-election to a third term. 

George “Boogie” Ambler is a candidate for the District 47 seat in the West Virginia House of Delegates. District 47 serves Greenbrier County, RealWV photo.

“I feel comfortable that I can get back and have an impact there,” Ambler said. “When I left there (the legislature), I was the vice-chairman of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and I was also the chairman of the State Flood Committee on the House side of things. I was promoted up into the Finance Committee and spent a couple of years there, so I have a good background for what’s going on now.”

“I would like to go back and attain those positions,” Ambler added. “If you are in those leadership positions, it makes it a little more accessible to getting bills passed, and helping your constituents. I think that’s the one thing that maybe we’ve been lacking for a few years.”

In addition to the committees Ambler mentioned, during his tenure in the House, he also served on the Education, Energy, and Roads and Transportation Committees. 

“After I was elected in 2012, we were in the minority,” Ambler explained. “But not by very much. We were only, I believe, eight votes down. In that time, even with the other party in control, people found out that when you talk to me, it started a camaraderie – even with the opposite party.”

That sense of “camaraderie,” Ambler said, is something he believes is even more important under the current Republican supermajority.

“When you’re in the minority, you’re working on trying to find a bill, or maybe keep things from happening,” Ambler explained. “But when you’re in the supermajority, I think you run into a little bit of difficulty occasionally because it will splinter out to different groups who are choosing a particular piece of legislation. I like the idea of working in the supermajority because I think my experience will help me persuade people to the way I think we need to do things.”

“We’ve lost something in politics, and it’s a word called ‘compromise,’” Ambler continued. “That word seems to have gotten washed under the table somewhere. Politics has always been about compromise. I think I can compromise with and work with [both parties], and still accomplish some of the goals that I have set for myself and the 47th District.”

In addition to his ability to persuade potential colleagues in the House, Ambler says his experience has prepared him to hit the ground running come the start of the 2025 legislative session.

“Obviously I’d like to go down and be full steam ahead,” Ambler said. “I have some bills I’d like to put forth. I know that things are going well in Greenbrier County on the east side, but prosperity is not quite as abundant on the west. Economically I’ve got a few ideas that I’ve been running by a few people, and certainly we’ll take care of the loss of Appalachian Wood Products out there – that was a big hit on the western end of our county.”

“I truly believe that we’ve got some ideas that’ll work,” Ambler added.

Among the biggest obstacles facing the western end of Greenbrier County, Ambler cites location, saying, “In the real estate business, location is everything.”

“When (interstate) 64 went through, it started drying up Route 60,” Ambler said. “Over the years, we’ve seen the effects of that. We have to start utilizing Route 60 now, and we have to have a draw. West Virginia is pushing tourism. If I’m successful, I want to put a coalition (of Greenbrier County towns) together to look at the economic opportunities. Tourism is certainly going to be a big part of it, but we’re going to have to combine our resources and our thought processes to attract that. ”

A lifelong West Virginian, Ambler spent some 20 years in the construction industry, followed by 25 years as an educator with the Greenbrier County School System. Since his retirement in 2016, Ambler has worked in both farming and real estate. 

“My biggest pride and joy in everything is that I’m a grandad, but now I’m a two-time great-grandad,” Ambler added. “My interest is for my grandkids, and everybody else’s, to have an opportunity to stay and enjoy Greenbrier County the way I’ve been able to all my life.”

As for his approach to governing, Ambler says he’s “like a dog with a bone.”

“I worked hard to get that reputation, and I still work hard every day,” Ambler said. “I’ll continue to do that. I want this job, and I think I can do it maybe a little bit better than some of the others who are running. I’ve established myself in Charleston, and I want the opportunity to go back and see what we can do.”

Both the Democratic and Republican nominee for the District 47 representative in the House of Delegates will be selected by primary election. Primary Election Day in West Virginia is Tuesday, May 14. General Election Day is Tuesday, November 5.

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