By October 9, 2015 Read More →

Justice meets local Democrats, business owners

By BRETT DUNLAP

Parkersburg News and Sentinel

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — Jim Justice believes he can do a lot to help the state of West Virginia.

The Democratic candidate for Governor was in Parkersburg Thursday meeting with residents and business owners and speaking at the monthly meeting of the Wood County Democratic Party Executive Committee.

 Jim Justice, a Democratic candidate for governor, addressed the Wood County Democratic Party Executive Committee and others Thursday evening at the Parkersburg City Building. Justice talked about his plans for West Virginia and why he wants to be governor. News and Sentinel Photo.    


Jim Justice, a Democratic candidate for governor, addressed the Wood County Democratic Party Executive Committee and others Thursday evening at the Parkersburg City Building. Justice talked about his plans for West Virginia and why he wants to be governor. News and Sentinel Photo.

Earlier in the day he visited J.R.’s Donut Castle to talk with people about what he wants to do for the state as governor.
“I love our state,” he said. “I love our people and I think we have a lot of opportunities here.”

He said he believes in the state’s potential in what its people can accomplish.

“We know the difference between right and wrong,” he said. “We are a faith-based people.”

He talked about bringing people together at The Greenbrier and getting them to work together for the betterment of all. Unions were fighting, management was fighting and people were leaving.

Justice said similar things have been happening around the state.

“We dug in and addressed the problems and got all the people pulling the rope together,” he said. “It was tough.”

Justice has been working on a jobs package he will soon unveil.

He said he wants to concentrate on the state’s strengths, including natural resources, agriculture, tourism and education, and said he has experience in each field.

“We are a state that abounds in natural resources,” he said.

The climate regulations imposed on the state have been difficult, overreaching and wrong, Justice said. More can be done with clean coal technologies to make them more economically viable and keep coal as a vital fuel source, he said.

He said government gets in the way of education. He wants the state’s universities to become an economic engine to bring opportunities to the state.

Justice said he wants to help displaced coal miners get back to work. And there are more opportunities in tourism, he said.

“That is what I do,” he said. “What we have to do in any problem we have, you use your strengths. We have got to do something. I have done it. I have created a lot of jobs.”

Parkersburg Mayor Jimmy Colombo introduced Justice and explained to the more than 50 people present at the Democratic executive committee meeting why he was supporting him for governor.

“I am supporting Jim because I know he will turn around West Virginia, just like he turned around The Greenbrier,” Colombo said. “Jim knows how to create jobs and get people back to work, because he has done it in coal, agriculture and tourism. West Virginia needs a businessman like Jim who will never take ‘no’ for an answer and who will attract new businesses to our state.”

Justice talked about his experiences as a high school girls and boys basketball coach, being a certified teacher, the challenges he faced in buying The Greenbrier and his belief in the people of West Virginia to rise to the occasion when needed.

“I do not want a dollar,” he said of becoming governor. “I don’t want one more bit of status or one more bit of ego.”

Justice said what he wants as governor was illustrated with a meeting he had with an elderly man after buying The Greenbrier.

“He grabbed my hands and he was shaking,” Justice said. “Tears are running down his face and he says to me, ‘Thank you for making me feel better about who I am as a West Virginian.’ To me, that is the why I am running.”

Justice said he doesn’t have to run for public office or put himself or his family through the scrutiny. He said he wants to make the state a better place.

“Our state matters and it matters an awful lot to me and I know it matters to you,” Justice said.

The state is regularly ranked at the bottom of states, he said. Justice said the state has become a “farm team” for the rest of the country, sending its best people to help other areas prosper.

“Our people can do things,” he said. “It is time to do something big.”

Everyone in the state needs to come together to turn around a lot of preconceived notions about what West Virginia in the national eye, he said.

“We have enough people on the outside that are throwing all of the rocks in the world at us,” he said. “We don’t need to throw rocks at each other. We need to embrace all West Virginians and let’s say ‘Let’s go.'”

Many people’s preconceived notions about West Virginia are wrong, he said.

“I don’t like being the blunt end of bad jokes,” he said. He told the crowd to imagine if they were playing baseball or softball and ask them if they would wish at a crucial moment if they would hope the ball was not hit to them or if they would face that challenge head on.

“Hit me the ball,” Justice said. “I will make the play. I want the ball.”
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