For 20 years I have served in the Legislature, 18 of them when Earl Ray Tomblin was president of the Senate and the last two while he has been governor. I know from close observation that he is an outstanding public official.
When I first took my seat on the House of Delegates Finance Committee 20 years ago, West Virginia was in desperate financial straits. We had huge unfunded liabilities in our pension and workers' compensation funds, we had no "rainy day" fund and medical providers refused to honor the public employees' health care plan.
We have since stabilized the health care, pension and workers' compensation programs. We created a rainy day fund which is now one of the half-dozen strongest of the 50 states. And this year we became the first state to stabilize "other post-employment benefits" (OPEB). We're recognized as one of the 3 or 4 most fiscally responsible states in the union. Through all this Earl Ray Tomblin led the way.
Governor Tomblin did a marvelous job helping to bring Macy's, with its almost 2,000 jobs, to the Eastern Panhandle. A Macy's executive I've known for many years told me so. And he responded quickly and positively to the effort led by Sen. Herb Snyder to allocate almost $200 million to get our Eastern Panhandle sewer systems up to Chesapeake Bay standards. Governor Tomblin knows and appreciates the Eastern Panhandle.
Finally, Governor Tomblin understands that West Virginia must improve K-12 and higher education in order to compete with the rest of the world in the 21st Century. I urge all to vote for Earl Ray Tomblin for re-election as governor.
West Virginia House of Delegates