We wish Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin were more loyal to the Democratic Party and willing to support President Obama for a second term in the White House. However, in the Nov. 6 election, voters must choose among names on the gubernatorial ballot. The Republican nominee is so unpalatable that we have no choice but to back Tomblin.
In some ways, he has been a good West Virginia leader. During his years as Senate president, he steered a practical, frugal course with state finances. He used surpluses to pay down pension and medical debts, keeping the government solvent. So when the Great Recession struck, West Virginia wasn't thrown into crisis like various other states.
During Tomblin's nearly two years as governor, job-creating has been vigorous. Altogether, corporations have invested almost $5 billion in new plants or expansions, fostering about 5,500 good jobs. For example, a Spanish firm's decision to sink $100 million into the South Charleston stamping plant and eventually hire 700 happened partly because Tomblin, as Senate chief, pushed a $15 million state loan that made the plant ready for operation.
As Otto von Bismarck said, politics is the art of the possible. Of the names on the Nov. 6 ballot for West Virginia governor, Earl Ray Tomblin is the best choice.