POINT PLEASANT — Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) made a campaign stop in Mason County over the weekend, visiting with Democrats and supporters at a reception held at the Chef House in Point Pleasant.
Tomblin’s visit definitely had a touch of deja vu considering it was only last October when he was campaigning for his job in Mason County during the state’s special election.
With one year as governor under his belt, he spoke to those gathered about what his administration had done in that time. He talked about the food tax being phased out and being completely eliminated by July 1, 2013, saying this would especially benefit border counties like Mason County who were losing food sales to businesses in Ohio because of the tax. He then spoke about the Marcellus Shale natural gas reserves and how West Virginia had been the first state to regulate drilling and this regulation was done through a bi-partisan effort. He talked about coal miner safety legislation being passed as well as an anti-texting while driving law. He talked about the state paying its bills, getting unfunded liabilities under control and creating an anti-substance abuse board, saying the state was losing “a whole generation” to drug abuse.
“We still have a lot of people and families suffering but we’ve got the state headed in the right direction,” Tomblin told supporters.
Tomblin, like a lot of Democrats, are being tied to President Barack Obama (D) in various ads and television commercials. Given the fact the president lost West Virginia in 2008 and appears to be losing in West Virginia to Gov. Mitt Romeny (R), some groups are seizing upon the opportunity to tie candidates to Obama. This translates into tying them to everything unpopular, though neither the Obama nor Romney campaigns have shown much interest in West Virginia this election season - choosing instead to focus on states with more electoral votes like Ohio.
Tomblin told the Point Pleasant Register when he sees ads tying him to the president or other negative agendas, he feels like anyone would feel when something untrue is said about them.
“It’s just wrong,” he said, elaborating on the fact he disagrees with both Obama and Romney on issues.
Tomblin said he specifically disagrees with Obama on regulations passed by the United State Environmental Protection Agency which have greatly impacted the coal industry and “cost West Virginia jobs.” He also said he disagrees with Romney on social security and medicare, saying Romney’s approach to these programs could be “harmful to seniors.”
“Democrat or Republican, if they’re causing harm to West Virginia or West Virginia jobs, I’ll take them on,” Tomblin said.
Tomblin is once again facing Bill Maloney (R) for governor in the November general election.
The meet-and-greet was organized by the Mason County Democratic Party.