Natalie Tennant, who has broken down barriers throughout her life serving as the first female WVU Mountaineer mascot, launched her campaign to become Governor at Colasessano's restaurant today surrounded by her family, friends, and supporters.
Tennant said she is running to improve the quality of life for all West Virginians, improve our economy, and to create jobs for this generation and for the next.
"We are going to promote innovative ways to create jobs and educate our children, and more responsible fiscal policy. West Virginia can be a leader now in all these areas. We cannot wait any longer."
The Marion County native is known for having a common sense approach to state government, bringing transparency and cutting red tape.
"I don't sit on the sidelines. I roll up my sleeves," she told supporters when asked about ensuring the rights of all West Virginians to cast their ballot.
In 2008, Tennant successfully ran for Secretary of State. She comfortably won that election and in January 2009 was sworn in as the 29th West Virginia Secretary of State.
During her tenure, Tennant broke new ground not only through her practical use of technology but also through initiatives that made the voting process more streamlined, secure, and accessible. Tennant promoted accountability and transparency in government through use of technology including social media websites, such as Twitter and Facebook, and through live video streams on the internet.
Tennant announced her candidacy at a family-owned local business, continuing on her history of promoting small businesses and the economy in the Secretary of State's Office. As a former small business owner, Tennant made it a priority of her administration to make it easier for businesses to focus on their product and not paperwork by making more services available online. Her administration also did away with online transaction fees to help business owners save money.
"I'm proud of what I have done as Secretary of State. I knew we had to make it easier for small business owners, and that's what I've done. When government helps business reduce paperwork, that's a new kind of leadership."