CHARLESTON — “And while we must work on our education system, I also will continue to fight our substance abuse issues in our communities. And I will continue to work to improve our job climate.
“Unfortunately, for me that means, in many instances, fighting the federal government to get off our backs and out of our way. But it is a fight I will not concede, and I will never back down.
“The solid foundation we have built for our State has given us the opportunity to reach even greater heights in the four years ahead. But I need your help. Let us move forward this day united. I'm committed to working with the legislature to make major improvements for our businesses, our schools, and in our communities.
“Again, I am truly humbled that YOU, the people of this beautiful state, have allowed me to continue serving as your governor. West Virginia is a special place. There is no place on earth quite like it, I know—I've lived here all my life.
“In this sesquicentennial year, we will pause to remember how far we've come, how we have struggled to get from wilderness to economic progress and development, and to re-commit ourselves to ensuring a greater path for others to follow. Let me be the first to say, Happy Birthday Mountain State. Mountaineers are, indeed, always free.
“And for 150 years, the people of the Mountain State have proven to the world that: We work hard. We love our families and our friends. We won't turn our backs on someone who needs help—even if we don't know them well. We will fight for what's right, and we will always put West Virginia and her people first.
“In this historic year, we seek the leadership of the Lord and the blessings he has so graciously bestowed upon us.
“God bless you, God bless America, and God bless the great State of West Virginia.”