Written by Erin MacPherson
Last updated on January 14, 2013 @ 9:44AM
Created on January 11, 2013 @ 6:51PM
Senator Jay Rockefeller announced Friday afternoon that he won't be running for re-election. His retirement comes 28 years after he began his term as a United States Senator. When you take into account his decades of service to our state, the grand total reaches more than 50 years.
Many weren't surprised when 75-year-old Jay Rockefeller made the announcement Friday morning that he plans to retire in 2014. Many thought it was because of his age, but Rockefeller said it's because he wants to devote more time to his family.
Rockefeller has recently been at odds with the state's mining industry and has supported President Barack Obama, who's approval rating in our state has always been low.
Before becoming a U.S. Senator, Rockefeller was a two term governor of the Mountain State from 1977 to 1985. Republican Representative Shelley Moore Capito has already announced that she plans to run for Senator Rockefeller's seat next year. Even though he made this announcement, he wanted to make sure his fellow West Virginians knew why and he hopes everyone understands.
"And I hope that each of you and the state I love can understand that this is an entirely personal decision here. It is not a political decision and it has not been easy," said Rockefeller.
Many people 5 News spoke with in Marion County Friday said they completely understand why he's not running for re-election, but they just don't like it.
"I think that he's pretty old and he needs to spend some more time with his family. I think that he's been here a long time and has done a lot of good things for our state being a governor and a senator. I think that it's time for somebody else to step in and see what they can do," said Justin Coughlin, Harrison County Resident.
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