UPDATE: Gov. Tomblin Takes Oath of Office

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE 1/14/13 @ 6 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- West Virginia's 35th Governor was officially sworn into office Monday afternoon.

Earl Ray Tomblin has been serving in the position since January 2011. This will be his first full term.

The celebration went on all day long and continues well into the night.

Following a 19-gun salute, the governor took to the podium to give his roughly 20-minute speech.

Tomblin recapped his time working in the governor's office focusing on the wicked weather including tornadoes, floods, Hurricane Sandy and the derecho. He also reflected on the tragic loss of two state troopers, as well as a moment of silence to remember those killed at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.

He spoke about his role in fixing the pension system, paying down our debts and privatizing workers compensation.

"We're putting money back into the pockets of hardworking West Virginians every single day," Tomblin said.

Tomblin spoke generally about business and bringing and attracting more jobs to the state. West Virginia is the leading state in coal markets, according to Tomblin. He wants to focus on tapping into other vast natural resources like Marcellus shale.

"West Virginia is right in the center of it all," Tomblin said.

Tomblin focused on education -- innovative 21st century teaching, while also fixing the growing problem of drug abuse.

"We're putting millions of dollars into programs to help those stuck in the terrible cycle of drug addiction," Tomblin said.

He vowed to put West Virginia first, fight the federal government and continue a steady path forward.

The major topics hit on the inaugural speech will take center stage at the upcoming legislative session in February.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.

UPDATE 1/14/13 @ 5:30 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – Young and old, people came from all corners of the state Monday to witness the swearing in of West Virginia’s 35th governor.

"It's very cool -- I've only been to Charleston once before, and it's beautiful," said Laura Turner, who lives in Hampshire County, W.Va., and took her kids out of school to witness history. "And to be part of the governor's inauguration is just something that not everybody gets to do."

"I thought it was an important opportunity for the whole family to be a part of," Turner said. "This is our very first governor's inauguration, so we're really excited."

Plenty of others also played hooky to catch a glimpse of something they may never see again.

"Well, I skipped school and came up here just to -- you know, something you can hardly every see,” said Michael Kelley of Beckley.

But not everyone was there to see the elected officials. George Jackson, a Vietnam veteran, was on hand to support those who are serving.

"Well, it makes you feel pretty good," Jackson said. "That's why I come out to see these type of events -- just to see what the country's doing now, as far as the military."

Then there were even people who saw the crowds and figured they’d take a seat.

"So I decided, it's a pretty important event, I should come take a look at it," said Raymond McNamara, who lives nearby in Charleston.

But no matter the reason, the hundreds who braved the cold and filled the seats in front of the Capitol got to witness a piece of state history.

UPDATE 1/14/13 @ 1:30 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Earl Ray Tomblin has been sworn in to a full four-year term as West Virginia's governor.

The 60-year-old Democrat took the oath of office Monday at a ceremony on the south plaza of the state Capitol, overlooking the Kanawha River. Tomblin's wife of 32 years, Joanne, and their son Brent, held the Bible.

A public reception was set to follow the inauguration at the nearby Culture Center, with an inauguration ball scheduled for Monday night at the Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences.

Tomblin served as acting governor starting in November 2010 when predecessor Joe Manchin resigned to claim a seat in the U.S. Senate.

In 2011, Tomblin won an election to serve out the remainder of Manchin's term as governor and defeated Morgantown businessman Bill Maloney.

Public oaths of office have also been administered to several statewide elected officials.

State Supreme Court Justice Brent Benjamin administered the oaths Monday to Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, Auditor Glen Gainer, Treasurer John Perdue, new Agriculture Commissioner Walt Helmick, new Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, Supreme Court Justice Robin Davis and new Justice Allen Loughry.

They took their oaths before the swearing in of Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin outside the state Capitol in Charleston.

UPDATE 1/14/13 @ 12:50 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Some of the best seats for Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's inauguration went to those who arrived early.

Amanda Davis of Lenore and four relatives are getting a front-row view of the celebration Monday at the state Capitol.

Davis' 9-year-old daughter, Olivia Osborne, is performing with the Appalachian Children's Chorus, so she came to watch an inaugural for the first time.

A part-time gas station cashier married to a laid-off coal truck driver, the 38-year-old Davis also hoped to hear Tomblin talk about how to help with her family's biggest need - health care.

Davis says government needs to make health care more affordable and easier to obtain.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.

CHARLESTON, W.Va (WSAZ) -- Governor Earl Ray Tomblin will take the oath of office as part of the inaugural ceremonies Monday.

It's all happening in Charleston on the South Plaza of the State Capitol.

This year's theme is "West Virginia First."

The hour-long ceremonies will include several musical performances and the firing of a three gun salute.

Kanawha Boulevard will be closed from 5:30 a.m. Monday until the conclusion of the inaugural ceremonies.

California Avenue will also be blocked at the east wing loading dock.

Parking is available in the public parking areas of the state capitol complex.

Officials say umbrellas and large handbags will not be allowed.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.

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