The Journal, Martinsburg, WV
Falling Waters man is vying for 52nd District seat
By Jamie West Journal Staff Writer. Posted: January 30, 2010
MARTINSBURG - When people ask how Larry D. Kump is doing, the answer isn't one they're used to hearing. "I'm goofy," he often replies.
Most times it's in reference to his personality and mood, an accurate depiction of his affable demeanor. Although, Kump said, people occasionally follow his response with, "Yeah, and I'm Donald," hinting at the two famous Disney cartoon characters.
Though Kump admittedly likes to joke, he is all business when it comes to the well-being of West Virginia.
A firm believer that anyone can make a difference, Kump announced Friday that he will run for the 52nd District seat of the West Virginia House of Delegates. Delegate Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, has represented the 52nd District since 2002, and recently announced his intentions to run for the West Virginia Senate.
Kump said he has been involved with government in one way or another throughout most of his life and has been an activist for personal freedom issues.
He said that after being approached by some county Republican leaders, they persuaded him to make a run for office.
"It was always a someday issue for me. I hadn't been thinking about doing that at this point in my life, and my daughter said to me, 'Dad, put your pom-poms down and get in the game,' so here I am," Kump said. "The amount of support I've already gotten from people has just really humbled me, and been really incredible."
Kump is running as a Republican, but considers himself more of a Libertarian/populist. His job history includes being the chief aide to the Republican leader of the Pennsylvania State Senate, executive director of the Indiana State Employees Association, the regional governor of the Maryland Classified Employees Association and most recently as a case manager specialist with Roxbury Correctional Institution in Hagerstown, Md.
Some of the issues he is passionate about include being an advocate for fiscal restraint and lowering or eliminating certain taxes. "I just think it's, for lack of a better phrase, cruel and unusual punishment to tax people on groceries and home heating fuel. Those are necessities that people need to live," Kump said.
He also has noted that people in the Eastern Panhandle often go to Maryland or Virginia to get their gasoline because of the cheaper prices. "I think the West Virginia gasoline tax should be lowered so we can compete with surrounding states," Kump said.
Though he is retired, Kump now finds himself busier than ever, but he said it's a "happier busier" and that he enjoys being active. He also has fought through two terminal cancer diagnoses and a house fire.
"I was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 1989 and given six months to live, and in 2002 I was told I had terminal cancer again in another area, and both of them went away by the grace of God.
It had to be that," Kump said. Now he wants to fight for the people and be their listening ear and representative.
"One thing the people won't get from me is political pandering," Kump said. "I'm not going to be one that glad-hands and goes to places just to get re-elected. What they can expect from me is to respond to every citizen that contacts me and to be straight-forward with what I'm for and what I'm against.
All legislative seats at all levels of government belong with people, and you need to listen to them.
"I really have a lot of sympathy with the little guys and gals out there, and not just in Berkeley County, that are trying hard to make financial ends meet, and are busting the gut.
We've got the elderly, the single parents, people that are just really hard pressed, and I think West Virginia could do a whole lot better for them than what they have," Kump said.
For more information, call Larry D. Kump at (304) 274-3104 or send him an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Staff writer Jamie West can be reached at (304) 263-3381, ext. 132, or email@example.com.