Watch Now! WV Governor Earl Ray Tomblin Swearing In Ceremony

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Updated 11/16/2010 @ 11:31 am


The following remarks from Governor Tomblin were delivered today during the investiture ceremony at the state Capitol:

Colleagues from the Legislature, justices of the Supreme Court of Appeals, members of the Board of Public Works, ladies and gentlemen. I am honored by the fact that you join me, Joanne, and our son Brent today.

Upon my graduation from college some 36 years ago, I began a career in public service that continues to this day. My service now moves to a different level – where I have new opportunities to serve West Virginia and her wonderful people.

I have prepared for this moment with one guiding thought –“West Virginia First.”

No matter what the situation – I WILL put West Virginia first. It is the fundamental keystone that has guided me through decades of public service.

And it will be the foundation upon which I shall function as the Governor of our State.

West Virginians have a deep and abiding spirit that makes us who we are.

No matter where you look in West Virginia’s history – it is filled with generations of inspirational people. When thinking about who we are, one cannot help but think of those first settlers crossing the Appalachian Mountains looking westward.

These rugged mountaineers discovered a multitude of streams, valleys, and our lush mountains from which we have drawn a special strength for many years.

We can look to our veterans – Our fathers, sons, mothers, and daughters who, time after time, went away to war – to Europe, to Asia, and now to the Middle East – all to provide West Virginians with a better and safer future. We can look to our coal miners who – for generations – have proudly sacrificed every day to provide energy for our State and our nation.

It has been, and is this kindred spirit of these inspirational West Virginians that has led us through both difficult times and good times alike.

Where some see problems, WE SEE OPPORTUNITIES.
Where some see stumbling blocks, WE SEE STEPS TO GREATNESS.

When challenges are thrust upon us, WE RISE TO THE OCCASION.

And when we are struck by tragedy, we recover by expressing care and compassion.

In other words, throughout our history – and no matter what the situation – our fellow citizens have put West Virginia first. I PLEDGE to do the same.

If we work together, we can achieve things previously thought to be impossible.

If we instead act for our own interests, we will end up tearing each other apart, and West Virginia will suffer.

The road to a more prosperous West Virginia begins with the knowledge that we must – WE MUST – work together.

As former Senator Bill Bradley stated: “Respect your fellow human beings, treat them fairly, disagree with them honestly, enjoy their friendship, explore your thoughts about one another candidly, work together for a common goal and help one another achieve it.”

To this end, I want all to know I have a strong faith in the members of the House of Delegates, State Senate, admiration for the members of the Board of Public Works, and unwavering respect for the Justices of our Supreme Court of Appeals.

We all have a responsibility to keep the best interests of West Virginians at heart – first and foremost.

I am ready to work tirelessly with you to keep our State moving forward.

The magnitude of the responsibility with which I am now entrusted cannot be overstated. The weight of this office is immense.

Nevertheless, I will not shrink in fear or in trepidation of my responsibilities and duties.

I will meet those responsibilities and undertake those duties with a specific perspective – WEST VIRGINIA FIRST. This shall be what guides me through my time as Governor, remembering the solemn obligation reflected in the Oath I have just taken.

During the last twenty-five years, our State has seen dramatic improvements. Together we have transformed West Virginia from a State on the verge of bankruptcy to a place where we are nationally recognized for our fiscal responsibility. I am proud of this accomplishment.

Now, however, is not the time to rest on our laurels or shift our focus away from our goals. We must continue to strive for a better West Virginia.

It has been said that the greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that we aim too low and we reach it.

Now is the time for West Virginians to work together and set our sights on the future – NOW is the time to aim high.

Together we can make West Virginia a place where our children get a world-class education.

Together we can increase the level of educational attainment across our state’s population – so that we can compete anytime and anywhere – with anyone.

Together we can foster an environment where capital flows into every corner of West Virginia – where all have the opportunity to have good wages and good benefits – and everyone has a real chance to achieve the American Dream.

Together we can secure, not only the fundamentals of our existing economy, our coal, oil, and natural gas industries, but also use them as the foundation from which we will continue to diversify our economy – in every part of our State.

Together, we can be careful stewards of the taxpayer’s money and continue the path of paying down long term debt.
Together, we can achieve greatness and our state can rise to the top.!

We are fortunate that West Virginia is a destination for individuals who want to see our beautiful mountains, traverse our majestic streams, and visit our landmarks. If we work together to create jobs here at home - we can make West Virginia a destination for life. I see West Virginia as a place where opportunities abound and our future is unlimited.

Today, I ask all West Virginians to unify in spirit and in purpose to put West Virginia first; to set aside personal agendas and adopt a West Virginia agenda; and to recognize that we all have a role in solving the problems of our state;

We all have reason to celebrate our accomplishments.

Our successes, of which there are many, are attributable to the efforts of our people and our leaders.

Let us not forget that West Virginia’s future depends on us to work together for the betterment of our people.

I ask you to join me in boldly moving our state forward and TOGETHER, we shall PUT WEST VIRGINIA FIRST.

Our vision is clear, our mission forthright: West Virginia first, West Virginia forever.

Let us all pursue it with courage, grace, and confidence.

May God Bless each and every one of you and may God Bless the great State of West Virginia.

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Updated 11/16/2010 @ 10:51 am

(AP) -- West Virginia got its first real public glimpse of its new Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin Tuesday morning.

Tomblin took a public oath of office Tuesday at the State Capitol. As Senate President, Tomblin succeeded newly minted U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin on Monday.

The 58-year-old Democrat said he would continue to put West Virginia first. He cited a lifetime of public service that began in the legislature right out of college.

An audience of around 1,000 packed the halls between the Senate and House chambers for the morning investiture. Former two-term Gov. Gaston Caperton led the ceremony, while Supreme Court Chief Justice Robin Davis administered the oath.

The succession is just the second in West Virginia history, and the first under its current constitution.

(Copyright 2010 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)


Charleston, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia is marking the historic transfer of power in its top office.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is taking his oath publicly Tuesday at the State Capitol. The morning ceremony will be held outside the Senate Chamber.

Tomblin is also Senate President. That made him acting Governor Monday, when Joe Manchin stepped down to become U.S. Senator.

The succession is just the second in West Virginia history, and the first under its current constitution.

Former Gov. Gaston Caperton will preside over Tuesday's investiture. Supreme Court Chief Justice Robin Davis will administer the oath.

The 58-year-old Tomblin took the oath in private Monday. He then joined Manchin in Washington D.C. for his swearing in at the U.S. Senate. Both men are Democrats.

(Copyright 2010 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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