Jefferson County public school teacher Storme Frame will be facing off against former Frontier general manager, current Rockwool spokesperson and House of Delegate’s member Paul Espinosa (R-66) in the November election.
In 2018, in two other Jefferson County districts, Sammi Brown (D-65) and John Doyle (D-67) won their elections on a wave of protest against Rockwool’s plans to build a heavy industrial facility in the middle of Jefferson County, West Virginia, a rural bedroom community less than 70 miles from Washington, D.C.
Brown defeated Jill Upson (53 percent to 47 percent) and Doyle defeated Riley Moore (56 percent to 44 percent).
Espinosa handily defeated his challenger David Dinges (58 percent to 42 percent), but that was before Espinosa was hired in July 2019 by Rockwool to be their spokesperson.
On her web page, Storme The House, Frame takes direct aim at Espinosa’s corporate connections.
“It’s time for working families and children to be our focus and have their voices heard in our capital,” Frame writes. “Irresponsible corporations like Rockwool and Frontier won’t like me very much, but they already have representation in Charleston. It’s time the citizens were heard from the 66th. I’m ready to be the megaphone for the people of our district.”
“I don’t think somebody who represents an out of country corporation is going to go down to the House of Delegates and represent what the 18,000 people who live in his district want,” Frame told This Week in Morgan County in an interview last month.
“Rockwool is here. There wasn’t enough transparency in our government prior. I don’t think the due diligence was completed. Now we are this far in the process, it’s important that our water is protected. There is a school right across the street from the plant. It’s imperative that we fight to protect our air and water and I just don’t think that he will. I don’t think he will have our best interests at heart. He will have the company’s best interests at heart.”
Frame says that the 66th District is a more rural district than the others in Jefferson County and the people in her district are really worried about the quality of their water.
“They are just worried that their water is going to be contaminated and they are not going to know. Nobody wants that. We’ve seen Flint, Michigan. We don’t want to be a Flint, Michigan. We just don’t want that.”
“I was born and raised in Jefferson County,” Frame said. “It means the world to me. I don’t want to see people leaving Jefferson County because of heavy industry. Light industry is important. We need economic growth in Jefferson County. We need to better our broadband. I would like to look into community broadband. If we had good internet access, people could telecommute. Why wouldn’t we take advantage of that?”