EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSROCKEFELLER'S DECISION
from Eyewitness News Online
W.Va.'s Senior Senator Says He Won't Seek Another Term In 2014
Reported by: Kennie Bass
Videographer: John Tincher
Web Producer: Kennie Bass
Reported: Jan. 11, 2013 5:42 PM EST
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
A decision that has long been rumored and speculated about is now official. U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller says he will not run for re-election after serving the final two years of his current term.
"I have decided not to run again at the conclusion of this term, which is not now but in 2014," Rockefeller said. "I hope that each of you and the state that I love can understand that this is an entirely personal decision, here and here. It is not a political decision and it has not been easy."
Rockefeller came to West Virginia in 1964 as a VISTA worker. Over the years he was elected to offices of delegate, secretary of state and governor. In 1984, he won a close race for senate, where he has remained ever since.
Rockefeller cites several accomplishments during his time in office. He says he's proud of championing children's health care, connecting classrooms to the internet, standing up for coal miners, fighting for veterans benefits and for diversifying the state's economy by bringing Toyota to West Virginia. The company employs 1200 people at its Buffalo plant and has invested more than a billion dollars.
"And to all West Virginians who took me in, transformed me and supported me, whose home is and always will be mine and who I will always be proud to fight for no matter what the cost, thank you," Rockefeller said.
The 75-year old Rockefeller says even though he's leaving office in a couple of years to spend more time with his family, he'll continue fighting for West Virginia. He says battling for those most in need has been his life's calling.
He was asked how West Virginia has changed him.
"In every way possible," Rockefeller said. "West Virginia was like a spiritual awakening for me. It was like a personal value awakening for me. It gave me causes to fight for, it gave me people to love and fight for. It changed me in every way possible."
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