WEST Virginia voters did not send just one message on Tuesday. They sent several. Some of the messages seemed at odds with themselves.
The four major messages were:
The Republican gains reflect the hard work of many people. After the resignation of Mike Stuart, Conrad Lucas, 30, did a fine job in taking over the state party chairmanship on May 12.
Tomblin's election to a full term was a nod to his record of fiscal responsibility when it comes to the state budget. Even the most ardent supporters of his opponent, Republican Bill Maloney, admire Tomblin's handling of the budget first as Senate Finance chairman, then as Senate president and now as governor.
But while the state's financial house has been put in better order in the 20 years that Tomblin has held leadership positions, the fact is that the average West Virginian has not experienced opportunity and income gains for the better part of 80 years.
In his first full term, Tomblin will work with an increasingly Republican legislature to make the changes necessary to attract business investment in the state. Tax reform and judicial reform should be at the top of the list.
Voters spoke. They are in general satisfied, but they also are looking at the alternative to business as usual, which Republicans offer.