CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- In the May 8 primary election, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has only an unknown challenger for the Democratic nomination, so he will win easily. Tomblin doesn't need any newspaper's endorsement -- but we want to give him ours, anyway.
Not long ago, his presumed Republican opponent in the fall, Bill Maloney, berated Tomblin and said, "We need a proven job-creator in Charleston."
Well, the record is abundantly clear. The brief Tomblin administration has won an impressive array of new jobs -- many of them stemming from previous actions by Tomblin as state Senate president.
A Spanish firm's decision to invest $100 million and create an eventual 700 jobs in the South Charleston stamping plant occurred partly because Tomblin, as Senate chief, helped ramrod a $15 million state loan that put the plant in top-grade condition. Now the loan has been repaid and the mid-Kanawha Valley will reap a marvelous economic boost.
Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette says scores of firms have pledged to invest $4.7 billion and create 5,447 new West Virginia jobs in the 17 months since Tomblin became acting governor in November 2010, and subsequently was elected to a temporary term. Here are other major projects, and counties in which they're located:
WVU Hospitals, Monongalia, 800 jobs; Quad Graphics, Berkeley, 400 jobs; Greenbrier Medical, Greenbrier, 400 jobs; TRG Customer Solutions, Randolph, 290 jobs; Baker Hughes, Harrison, 275 jobs; Metinvest, Randolph, 254 jobs; Alpha Natural Resources, Wyoming, 250 jobs; Affinity Mine, Raleigh, 250 jobs; Amazon.com, Cabell, 200 jobs; Alliance Coal, Ohio, 154 jobs; TRG Customer Solutions, Raleigh, 150 jobs; Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, Ohio, 100 jobs; Superior Appalachian Pipeline, Preston, 100 jobs.
This is a solid record of improvement for West Virginia. It's one more reason why Tomblin deserves a full term as governor. We gladly endorse him in the upcoming Democratic primary election. If he wins a full term, we hope he picks some new agency leaders and puts his own brand on the state administration.