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House must choose true leader for progress

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  • OPINIONState Journal EditorialsMore>>

  • Political gains are wasted if health changes don't happen

    Political gains are wasted if health changes don't happen

    Friday, September 12 2014 8:00 AM EDT2014-09-12 12:00:30 GMT
    West Virginia is the most obese state in the world's most obese nation, according to an annual report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Trust for America's Health.
    West Virginia is the most obese state in the world's most obese nation, according to an annual report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Trust for America's Health.
  • Big announcements should spur positive action

    Big announcements should spur positive action

    Friday, September 5 2014 9:50 AM EDT2014-09-05 13:50:45 GMT
    Our state's natural gas industry is growing in amazing ways. Just this week, it was announced that Dominion Resources, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas Co. and AGL Resources are proposing a $5 billion natural gas pipeline to connect the Southeast with natural gas supplies from Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.
    Our state's natural gas industry is growing in amazing ways. Just this week, it was announced that Dominion Resources, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas Co. and AGL Resources are proposing a $5 billion natural gas pipeline to connect the Southeast with natural gas supplies from Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.
  • Business community must raise a voice against status quo

    Business community must raise a voice against status quo

    Friday, August 29 2014 9:00 AM EDT2014-08-29 13:00:23 GMT
    As our state's business leaders gather at The Greenbrier this week for the 2014 West Virginia Business Summit, we hope they have a sense of urgency and realize what they must do to bring this state into the 21st century.
    As our state's business leaders gather at The Greenbrier this week for the 2014 West Virginia Business Summit, we hope they have a sense of urgency and realize what they must do to bring this state into the 21st century.

As the jockeying intensifies for the speaker's position in the House of Delegates, factions seem to be lining up behind Finance Committee Chairman Harry Keith White, D-Mingo, and Judiciary Committee Chairman Tim Miley, D-Harrison. No clear-cut favorite has emerged and there is talk of a floor vote for speaker — something political observers tell us has never happened before.

While this certainly is interesting to watch, we must not let palace intrigue and backroom maneuvers distract us from the reasons why a forward-thinking leader of the House is so important. For far too long, the special interests have held sway in that body, often killing worthwhile reform legislation. We need a speaker with the courage and charisma to step up and put the true needs of this state and its people above all else.

We languish at the bottom of so many economic indicators; yet, we have such potential. Given just a half a chance, West Virginia could flourish in truly unimaginable ways. Our vitality, creativity and ingenuity have never been in question, but we've been beset by elected leaders unwilling or unable to move us forward. That's why the House needs true leadership, not someone who will kowtow to the special interests.