By Beth Hendricks
Moving West Virginia ahead will require accountability and innovation, according to Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate Natalie Tennant, one of 14 candidates vying for the job.
The 42-year-old Tennant, a Democrat, spoke with The Herald-Dispatch Editorial Board on Wednesday and outlined her plans for increased government transparency, accountability and technological innovations to propel the state forward.
"Folks are asking, "Why now? Why are you running now?' and I think it's an important time to have this opportunity. We need a new approach, new energy. We are West Virginians who deserve a government that is accountable to them and works as hard as they do," Tennant said. "This government is not my government, but all of ours."
As secretary of state, Tennant said she has already shown the results of increased accountability in her office.
"As governor, I would support a sunshine portal, a transparency initiative. Can you imagine if we say we're going to invest in "x,' actually being able to see where your tax dollars are going? I've already shown that accountability in the Secretary of State's office and I'm the perfect person to lead that forward," she said. "If we can use our resources to open up the government, that's a game-changer."
Tennant said one of her priorities if elected would be diversifying the economy.
"I think we do that through energy. I'm frustrated and disappointed that Marcellus Shale wasn't accomplished during the legislative session. What we need to do is address it and take responsible action in capturing that gas. What do we do after it's extracted? How do we maintain environmental responsibility, ensure clean water and repair our roads?" she said. "We need to be in control of it and not let it control us."