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Kessler Believes Mountain State Is Poised For Success

By Staff | Dec 30, 2009

Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce Vice President Larry Tackett, left, presents Sen. Jeff Kessler with a print of a Van Slider photograph titled Misty Hollows at the conclusion of the chamber’s Celebration Dinner Dec. 10. (Photo by Amy Witschey)

The Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce held its annual Celebration Dinner Dec. 10 with State Senator Jeff Kessler as the keynote speaker.

Kessler was appointed to the West Virginia State Senate for the Second Senatorial District on Nov. 10, 1997. He has been elected to the office in 1998, 2000, 2004, and 2008. The Marshall County resident has announced that he will seek the governor’s seat in the 2012 election.

The politician said he thinks one of the biggest hurdles West Virginia needs to cross is finding a way to keep its young people in the state. Seventy percent of the state’s general revenue is spent on education and currently most of that education is crossing the border.

“That has got to change,” said Kessler. “If we don’t keep our young people here, we don’t have a chance.”

He hopes that by 2020 West Virginia will be one of the fastest growing states in the union. “We have our financial house in order,” said Kessler, noting West Virginia is one of only a handful of states that is currently operating in the black.

“I think we’re about due to have a breakout decade,” said Kessler.

He thinks there are three things that will lead the Mountain State to the forefront: education, energy, and environment.

In terms of energy, Kessler said 60 percent of the United States requires West Virginia’s energy. “There is no other viable alternative in the next 20 to 30 years other than carbon fuels,” he noted.

However, he said being environmentally responsible must be a priority to remain in the country’s resource future. The state can still produce and be environmentally responsible, asserted Kessler.

The evening included a short presentation on the unprecedented growth in the WCCC’s membership and included highlights from the local business year. Those in attendance enjoyed a meal catered by member business I&D Catering.

To cap off the evening, WCCC Vice President Larry Tackett presented Kessler with a print of a Van Slider photograph titled Misty Hollows.