EDITORIAL: Mountain State residents must join together to make West Virginia better

Times West Virginian

As Gov. Jim Justice took his oath of office Monday at the Capitol in Charleston, he stressed several key points, but the most notable was a simple plea for Mountain State residents to band together to make West Virginia a better place.

“West Virginia has been at the bad end of a lot of jokes, and I don’t like it,” Justice said. “I don’t like that we are 50th in everything. The reason is simple. I can’t stand how good we are and how troubled we are and how many people are hurting.”

Regardless of political affiliations or personal views, residents of West Virginia should be able to rally behind the statements.

At the inaugural ball held at The Greenbrier Monday following Justice being sworn in, he expressed this notion, explaining that we all should have the same goals in mind.

“All we want is goodness for our people, for our state and the great state that it is,” Justice said. “Now, we’ve got work to do — we all know that. We’ve got a hole to dig out of, and we all know that.”

In order to move West Virginia forward and dig out of that hole, we will have to work together. This includes people at all levels, whether it’s politicians working across the aisle in Charleston, local municipalities working with the residents of their communities or simply persons lending a hand to their neighbors, we’re all in this together.

Monday, Justice encouraged those in attendance at the ball to do just that, work together to build a better tomorrow for West Virginia.

“We’ve got to push the button right now and say, ‘It doesn’t matter if you’re rich, you’re poor, you’re black, you’re white, union or non-union, Republican, you’re Democrat — we’ve got to wake up and realize we’re just West Virginians,” Justice said.

We echo these sentiments and encourage all Mountain State residents to join together and make West Virginia better. Whether you voted for Justice or not, in the end making your home state a better place to live should be on everyone’s mind.

Stagnation in Charleston is not the answer. Refusing to work together simply because of a difference in political party will not help move West Virginia forward.

Justice stated Monday that it’s time for West Virginia to claim its place. He hopes to boost tourism, keep the younger generation in the state and increase jobs.

We think these are all positive paths for West Virginians to head down, but Justice cannot do it alone.

As he left office Monday, former Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin expressed his confidence that Justice will help lead West Virginia into a brighter future.

“Today, as we look to the future, I can think of no better person than Jim Justice to take the reins to build on the progress we’ve made and continue to move West Virginia ahead,” Tomblin said.

With bipartisan cooperation and a dedication to improving life in the Mountain State, we can all hope to make West Virginia a better place to live, too.

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