Not only did the county's native son, Earl Ray Tomblin, take the oath of office as the 35th governor, a new senator for the 7th District was also appointed.
Gov. Tomblin resigned his seat in the senate and took the oath of office on Sunday.
On Monday, Tomblin appointed former Logan County Commission President Art Kirkendoll to fill his Senate seat. Kirkendoll took part in the Senate session last night by casting a vote for Sen. Jeff Kessler to retain his position as senate president.
Tomblin had represented the people of the 7th Senatorial District for the past 31 years.
The 7th Senatorial District Committee submitted Kirkendoll's name along with two other candidates — Chapmanville Mayor Jerry Price and Man Mayor Jim Blevins — to fulfill the unexpired term. The letter of appointment went out around 2:30 p.m. yesterday and Kirkendoll was sworn in by Logan County Circuit Judge Eric O'Briant in the Senate Chambers at the State Capitol at 6 p.m.
"Art is a long-time advocate for the people of Logan County and I believe his dedication to the greater good will easily expand to all corners of the 7th Senatorial District," Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said. "I have the utmost confidence that Art will diligently represent the people that I have so thoroughly enjoyed representing over my Senate career."
Kirkendoll was introduced by Boone County Sen. Ron Stollings and welcomed by Mingo Senator Truman Chafin.
Kirkendoll said it was humbling to receive such a warm welcome from the august body.
"I can tell that the people I've talked to today are interested in moving West Virginia forward," Kirkendoll said. "I'm very thankful to Gov. Tomblin that he gave me this opportunity.
"It was really humbling to receive the welcome they gave me. They all told me they knew of my past experience in public service. It's very special and a day I'll never forget."
Kessler praised Kirkendoll for a long, distinguished career in local government.
"I've had a chance, over the years, to see Art work in the Association of Counties," Kessler said. "He's going to be an excellent addition to the senate. He's a hard-working guy. He'll take good care of his constituents in the southern coalfields and we're going to do everything we can to help him be successful down there."
Stollings also praised Kirkendoll and welcomed him into the senate.
"Art and I have been working together for a long time," Stollings said. "Art is very capable and passionate. I think Gov. Tomblin did a good job with this appointment. I look forward to working with Art. He will develop good relationships. This is good, not only for southern West Virginia and the 7th District, but also for the entire state."
Gov. Tomblin was first elected to public service in 1974, elected to the State Senate in 1980 and has served as the Senate President for the past 17 years. Kirkendoll will represent the 7th Senatorial District comprised of Logan, Boone, Lincoln and Wayne Counties.
First elected in 1981, Kirkendoll served a total of 30 years on the Logan County Commission and served for several years as president of the commission during his tenure.
Kirkendoll was a Regional Coordinator for then-Gov. Wise and is a former member of the South Western West Virginia Region 2 Workforce Investment Board.
Kirkendoll currently serves as Chairman of the Hatfield-McCoy Regional Recreation Authority Board of Directors. His other community efforts include being a member of the Logan County Emergency Planning Committee, the Logan-Mingo Area Mental Health, Inc. Board, and the Logan County Development Authority Board.
Kirkendoll and his wife, the former Barbara Nelson, reside in Chapmanville, and have two sons, Brian (Beth) and Eddie (Tammy), along with five grandchildren — Josh, Carrie, Audrey, McKinley and Preston.