Citizen's Spotlight: Speaker Rick Thompson, Candidate For Governor

Name: Rick Thompson

Age: 58

Family:  Wife, Beth  Chambers Thompson,  4 children, and 2 grandchildren

What is your profession and current office?  I have been a lawyer for 32 years. I am also currently a Delegate for the 17th District (Wayne Co.) and Speaker of the WV House of Delegates.

Do you have any military experience? Yes, I was a Military Policeman in the Army.

What was the first thing that attracted you to your wife? Well I have to admit she is very beautiful and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t notice.  That being said, she is also the smartest woman I know, and the support she has always given me has continued to build my confidence.  We will be married 20 years this December, and we have ALWAYS made a great team.  “Team Thompson!”

What do you like to do for fun (if there were no restrictions on your activities)?  Other than spending time with my family, I am an avid bow hunter.  I enjoy fishing and like to pick a little guitar on the front porch at home in the evenings. 

What is THE most important life lesson your parents taught you?  My father was killed in a coal mining accident while my mother was pregnant with me.  I went to live with my grandparents at about age 5.  The most important life lesson my grandparents taught me was the importance of hard work if I wanted to succeed. Whether that be striving to get a better education, working in the garden with a hoe, or carrying rain water for my bath because we didn’t have running water.   Once I was old enough, I began mowing yards and working in the nursery where my Pawpaw worked. 

What one person do you respect and admire most and why?  I admired my late grandfather, Fred Thompson, more than anyone.  He taught me that hard work, family, faith and education were the cornerstones of building a better life.

What is one of the biggest issues you see facing West Virginia today? One of the biggest issues facing West Virginia is creating sustainable jobs with good pay and benefits. 

What advice would you give? I would encourage everyone to try to go to school and get a good education.

What is the one thing that people misunderstand about you the most?  Sometimes people do not understand that as Speaker, when I ask a question, I really want to know what they think, not what they think I want to hear.

Is there anything else you would want to add?  I grew up the son of a widowed coal miner; I was taught hard work as a kid and duty to country in the Army.  I know how to get things done, and as governor, I’m going make a difference for West Virginia families.  Whatever role God sees fit to place me in, I promise to give it my all. West Virginia owes me nothing.  I owe the people of this state everything.