6th District, Mercer County
Senator William P. Cole III was elected to the West Virginia Senate in November 2012. As a Senator, he served on the Confirmations, Education, Government Organization, Health and Human Resources, Judiciary, Natural Resources, and Transportation and Infrastructure committees.
Prior to his service in the Senate, he was appointed to the West Virginia House of Delegates by Gov. Joe Manchin in May 2010 to fill a vacancy in the then-24th District.
A fifth-generation of businessman, Senator Cole began his career in his family's heavy-duty truck dealership in Bluefield, and later expanded into five automobile dealerships in West Virginia and Kentucky, a manufacturing facility in Tennessee, and other business interests. Today, those businesses provide jobs to about 500 people.
By the age of 13, he was an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. Senator Cole also is an ATP-rated (airline transport) pilot with 38 years and more than 4,000 total hours of flying experience. His ratings also include jet, helicopter, and seaplane.
Additionally, he serves on the board of directors of the Development Authority of the Greater Bluefield Area and the W. Paul Cole Jr. School of Business at Bluefield State College. In 2013, he was named as a Who's Who in West Virginia Business by The State Journal.
Senator Cole is the son of Paul and Carol Cole of Bluefield. Cole earned his bachelor's degree in business administration and an associate's degree in auto marketing from Northwood University in Michigan. He is married to Brownie Cole, and is the father of four children - Elizabeth, Taylor, Jason, and Lee.