Hymes in a press release said he is a “true son of coal miners and coal country.” His father and grandfather were coal miners. He was born in Bluefield, West Virginia, and spent his early years in a coal camp in Bishop, Virginia, where his father worked in the mine. His family later moved to Tazewell.
Hymes is a third generation coal miner and worked in the mines in McDowell County, West Virginia early in his career. He is currently Corporate Director of Human Resources at James River Coal Company.
“If folks care about what happens to our coal jobs, miners and coal mines then they should vote for me. I have worked in the mines and the coal industry my whole adult life and no one knows better than I how regulations are devastating our coal industry and our way of life. No one will fight harder against these regulations than I will,” said Hymes.
Hymes was first elected to the Tazewell Board of County Supervisors in 2006 and re-elected in 2009 and 2013. He has led the effort to cut real estate taxes and taxes on small businesses and seniors while increasing teacher pay and funding for the Tazewell County Public school system.
“We need to do everything we can to improve our children’s education and business climate in order to attract more jobs and businesses to our region. That’s why I led the fight to avoid teacher layoffs and cut real estate taxes and taxes on small businesses and seniors,” said Hymes.
Hymes said he also believes in transparency in government. He led the effort to put Tazewell County’s budget online as well as reporting every group or business who received more than $1,000 from the county government. He also was instrumental in implementing an ethics hotline where county residents and employees can report waste, fraud and ethical violations in government.
“We’ve definitely seen too much unethical behavior by politicians in Richmond and Washington D.C. I am tired of the way some politicians use government for their own personal advantage,” Hymes said.
Hymes and his family are active members of Main Street United Methodist Church in Tazwell where he has taught Sunday school for at least 10 years and is a member of the Pastor Parish Committee. Mike and his wife, Ceceli, have two married sons, Martin and Aaron, and one grandchild.