The hunter’s trademark and safety blaze-orange colored bumper stickers speak for themselves.
Their black background lettering simply reads, “Sportsmen for Tomblin.”
Many in the readership area may consider this fall’s re-election bid a no-braining automatic. After all, the homegrown governor is wildly popular here. But West Virginia is a big state with diverse interests.
Those interests include the powerful sporting block from a Mountain State deeply steeped in the rich traditions of hunting and fishing.
Still not convinced?
Well how about some 325,000 deer hunters within a populace of just 1.8 million. What’s more, its formerly true-blue status has been trending red of late in just such presidential election years and Governor Tomblin’s political persuasion is with the former.
Though his lifelong legislative record on the outdoor front is unprecedented, the governor is not taking anything for granted.
Along these lines, he and the first lady recently hosted an informal evening barbeque with some of the key sporting group representatives.
The gathering reportedly went quite well.
The stated legislative record was apparently overshadowed by the graciousness of the first lady. That notwithstanding, the governor responded with a written response to the sportsmen’s greatest issue of concern.
In it, he acknowledged the critical socio-economic importance of deer and deer hunting. And even more importantly to them, he stated the preference for keeping the management of the premier big game species within the present realm of the North American wildlife management system through the state Division of Natural Resources. The most legislatively active group within the overall lobby is the West Virginia Bowhunters (WVBA) who are apparently delighted with this commitment.
Time and again over the many years of coverage here, we learned that “Earl Ray” as the Governor is known locally came through with request after request for assistance with outdoor matters.
One of the greatest examples was the Chief Logan State Park Lake which encountered a series of problems prior to fruition.
During one of the many recent election cycles he endured per the succession debacles following the death of U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd, he personally queried local DNR Commissioner Kenneth Wilson and this individual regarding the sportsmen’s perspective on the passage of the Senior Lifetime License. He boldly came through on it just as he had many times in the past.
In recognition, the Sportsmen for Tomblin Committee are hosting a banquet for the governor on Saturday evening June 30 at the Flatwoods Days Inn.
For tickets or further information, call Ken Wilson at 304-785-6685.