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Manchin touts W.Va.'s virtues at opening of Democratic office

August 19, 2004|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

Saying West Virginia has a chance to "rebound and recover," Democratic gubernatorial candidate Joe Manchin encouraged about 100 people at a rally in Martinsburg Wednesday to join him in promoting the state as a good place to do business, to receive a good education and to visit.

Manchin, who will face Republican candidate Monty Warner in the Nov. 2 election, said he cannot lead the state alone.

Manchin said it is also up to individuals to market what the state has to offer.

"We've got a chance to rebound and recover," Manchin said.

Manchin spoke at the opening of the Eastern Panhandle's Democratic headquarters at 224 W. King St. Wednesday afternoon. It also is the location of Butterfly.net, a computer software company.

In past election years, separate Democratic headquarters have been set up in Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties, said David Levine, executive chairman of Butterfly.net.

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This year, Democrats decided to have their headquarters for the three counties in one location, said Levine, who has been active in the Democratic movement this year.

Although Manchin spoke of the strengths the state has to offer, he acknowledged that officials in Charleston, W.Va., do not have all the answers to problems, and there still is work to do in areas such as reducing prescription drug costs and improving health care.

Regarding the election, Manchin said the state and federal campaigns already are moving at a "hot and heavy" pace, and he encouraged Democrats to do all they can to get fellow party members to the polls in November.

Manchin was introduced by Alice Germond, a Jefferson County resident who was the secretary for the Democratic National Convention.

Germond and other Democrats expressed concerns over Iraq, the economy and the state of health care.

Germond said this year marks "the most important election I can remember. Our nation really needs us involved."

Many Democrats running for local, state and federal offices attended the rally, including Ken Hechler, who is running for Secretary of State, and Erik Wells, who is running for the U.S. House of Representatives seat in the 2nd Congressional District.

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