By: Danielle Vealey
Tuesday October 4 Earl Ray Tomblin was chosen for Governor during a special election. Governor Joe Manchin ran and was elected for the open senate seat that needed to be filled after Senator Robert C. Byrd passed away. Therefore, someone had to take his place. The term that Manchin didn’t finish began on Jan. 19, 2009 and ends Jan. 14, 2013.
The primary election was in May when one candidate out of each party was selected out of 19. Up until then they had all campaigned on their platforms of what they thought could improve the state.
Tomblin is 59 and is from Logan County. He has been married to his wife, Joanne, for 31 years and they have a son named Brent. He received his undergraduate from WVU, an M.B.A. from Marshall, and attended the University of Charleston. Tomblin is a self-employed business man and former school teacher. He was elected to the WV House of Delegates in 1974 at the age of 22 and was elected to the state senate in 1980. He is the longest serving Senate President. Then in 2000 he was named the state’s first Lieutenant Governor.
Governor Tomblin has several plans for the betterment of West Virginia. He has recently issued an executive order that will protect our environment and our citizens, all while providing stability natural gas companies need to create jobs and develop our resources.
He says he will do all that he can to complete major highway projects while still maintaining the state’s secondary roads. Tomblin pledges to make sure that no federal highway money goes unmatched throughout the state.
He also feels that we must improve the use of technology and reduce the dropout rate of students. He thinks that children need today’s technologies available in schools to learn skills that are necessary to succeed in the next generation’s economy. Tomblin firmly believes that as a state we must devote additional time and resources to keep the children at risk of dropping out in the schools.
Tomblin’s administration is currently working on improving access to health care. The state is helping 10,000 West Virginians receive access to primary care centers. This will enable our citizens to have better access to preventive care. He also thinks that that we can take advantage of telemedicine opportunities as we continue extending broadband Internet service into areas of WV that are currently undeserved. Tomblin is proud and confident to be the leader of this state and plans to do all he can to make it a better place to the citizens of WV.