VIDEO: Acting Gov. Tomblin Takes Oath of Office

By westvirginia on November 16, 2010
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Earl Ray Tomblin, West Virginia‘s Senate President and now Acting Governor, took the Oath of Office in a well-attended ceremony at the steps of the Senate Chamber in the State Capitol Complex in Charleston, W.Va. Tuesday morning.

Despite the rainy and cool conditions outside a crowd of dignitaries, state elected officials, lobbyists, media, and citizens stretch from the entrance of the Senate Chamber all the way to the entrance of the House of Delegates Chamber.

Robin Davis, Chief Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, administered the Oath of Office to Tomblin, a Logan County Democrat who has served as senate president since 1995. Tomblin officially became acting governor in a private ceremony yesterday at noon prior to traveling to Washington D.C. to watch former Gov. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) be sworn in as a U.S. Senator.

Tomblin said his new position as acting governor gives him another chance to serve the public. It’s something he has been preparing for.

“I have prepared for this moment with one guiding thought: West Virginia first,” said Tomblin. “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.”

There is still some concern over how long Tomblin can serve as acting governor until a special election is called, with House Speaker Richard Thompson (D-Wayne) and House republicans calling for an election sooner rather than later. In remarks the could be aimed at these voices, Tomblin stressed that unity is needed.

“If we work together, we can achieve things previously thought to be impossible,” said Tomblin. “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.”

Tomblin stressed that that state needs to continue to focus on sound fiscal policies that keep the state from going into the red.

“During the last 25 years, our State has seen dramatic improvements,” explained Tomblin. “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.”

Other focuses for Tomblin are increasing the level of educational attainment and building up the economy. Tomblin said the state needs to look beyond coal and natural gas.

“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.”

Tomblin will serve as Acting Governor until a 2012 special election and the 2012 general election when a new governor will be elected to a four-year term.

You can watch the full speech below (edited for YouTube time constraints):

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Posted under Audio, Elections, Featured, Governor, News, Politics, State Senate, Transparency, West Virginia.
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