Independent candidate Lee Forbes to Challenge for 10th Senatorial District seat

By Matthew Young, RealWV

“It’s estimated that by the end of this year there will be 15 million illegals that have crossed the southern border. We’re a central hub for human trafficking, and drug trafficking. Last I heard, there’s 85,000 children who have disappeared after they came over the border, and every year we’ve got 400,000 kids who disappear in this country. You never hear anybody talking about that.”

That’s what Independent candidate Lee Forbes told RealWV on Wednesday, regarding his decision to challenge Republican incumbent Jack David Woodrum in West Virginia’s 10th Senatorial District, which serves parts of Greenbrier, Summers, and Fayette Counties. Forbes is seeking election as a write-in candidate. 

“In the meantime, you’ve got people making frivolous bills that they try to get passed, like don’t you dare blow smoke on my car by rolling coal or you’re going to jail,” Forbes said, referring to the Woodrum-sponsored SB 436. “That’s ridiculous. And at the same time they’re spending $300 million of our money as a down payment on a battery factory.” 

The “battery factory” which Forbes referenced was the legislature’s $290 million appropriation to fund Form Energy’s reversible-rusting battery plant in Hancock County. The plan was approved during the 2023 legislative session. 

“There’s a whole lot going on that nobody is really focusing on,” Forbes said. “I want to be loud, and I want everything that’s happening to happen before the people, so they can get in touch with their representatives and say, ‘Hey, I don’t want that hellacious thing happening in my state.’”

“I want to make West Virginia great again,” Forbes added. “I want people to be able to say, ‘Wow, we have a politician we can trust,’ because I’m not a politician – I’m a businessman.”

Forbes, who owns and operates a pain clinic among other businesses, previously challenged for the 10th District Senate Seat in 2022, but was disqualified from the ballot because both he and Woodrum reside in Summers County. West Virginia code prohibits two residents of the same county from serving in the state Senate simultaneously, and Woodrum’s seat was not up for re-election during that cycle. The seat was eventually won by Greenbrier County-resident Vince Deeds. 

As a write-in candidate in 2024, Forbes says he will have more flexibility in his campaign.

“I don’t have to go looking for signatures to get on the ballot,” Forbes explained. “Right out of the gate, I can start talking to people, and getting my face in front of people. There are so many issues that are actually important at this time. The whole world around us is crashing in, and here we are with this piddly stuff.”

“The insanity in Russia, and Ukraine, and Israel – that’s going to affect us here,” Forbes continued. “What people do we have in the legislature who are going to stand up and say, ‘No, not at our borders.’ What kinds of preparations are we making for any kind of major terrorist attack?”

“President Trump said that there’s a 100% chance that there will be a major terrorist attack in this country this year,” Forbes added. “But it seems to be life as usual with most of these people who are in the position to say, ‘Hey folks, here’s what you need to be doing to get ready.’ We’ve got a wave coming toward us. If there’s a major catastrophic event in a city, where do you think all those people are going to go?”

With regard to his 2022 campaign, Forbes felt he was “totally green” at the time.

“I’m still a little bit green,” Forbes said. “I think I have a better concept of how to talk to people now – being straight up front and saying, ‘This is what they’re doing, and what is it getting you?’ I’m in a position where I’m ready to get in front and tell people where we are today, and show them that the good ol’ boy system isn’t getting anything done for them.”

Incumbent Senator Jack David Woodrum is the Republican nominee for the 10th Senatorial District. No Democrat is seeking the seat. As Woodrum is unopposed for the Republican nomination, and Forbes is running as an Independent, neither will compete in the May 14 Primary Election. General Election Day in West Virginia is Tuesday, Nov. 5. 


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