Rockefeller will not run in 2014

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Nearing 50 years of public service in West Virginia, Senator extends deep gratitude to state

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Senator Jay Rockefeller announced today that he will not seek reelection to the U.S. Senate in 2014. His announcement comes as he nears 50 years of public service in West Virginia and 30 years in the Senate. Rockefeller was joined at the Culture Center in Charleston by his wife, Sharon, and their children and grandchildren, along with his sister and brother-in-law, friends and staff members.

U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller

U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller

“As I approach 50 years of public service in West Virginia, I’ve decided that 2014 will be the right moment for me to find new ways to fight for the causes I believe in and to spend more time with my incredible family. Serving West Virginia in the U.S. Senate is an abiding honor and privilege, and Sharon and I are so full of gratitude to our state and to the countless friends and supporters who have made my public service possible,” Rockefeller said. “For the next two years in the Senate, and well beyond, I will continue working tirelessly on behalf of all West Virginians. Championing those most in need has been my life’s calling, and I will never stop fighting to make a difference for the people who mean so much to me.”

Rockefeller has a lengthy record of achievement. Today in his remarks, he singled out some of his proudest accomplishments:

·         Championing health care by authoring the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which covered 40,000 West Virginia kids and 8 million children nationwide in 2011 alone, and pushing to enact the Affordable Care Act, which makes health insurance affordable for 32 million Americans and 300,000 West Virginians and stops abusive industry practices;
·         Increasing educational opportunities by authoring the E-Rate program, which has increased the number of classrooms connected to the Internet from 14 to 92 percent;
·         Providing financial support for working families by expanding and defending tax credits for children, low-wage work and tuition;
·         Expanding and diversifying West Virginia’s economy, including his efforts to bring the Toyota plant to Buffalo, which has 1,200 current jobs and represents a total investment of $1.3 billion;
·         Standing up for coal miners by engineering passage of the Coal Act of 1992, which helped avert a nationwide coal strike and preserved health benefits for 200,000 retired miners and their families; and,
·         Fighting for veterans and the benefits they’ve earned by helping create a network of community clinics that now serve their health care needs through 10 locations across the state.

Rockefeller also noted that as part of his commitment to reaching West Virginians where they live, his staff has traveled well over one million miles across the state since 1985, and handled nearly a quarter of a million constituent cases ranging from Social Security issues to black lung claims and veterans’ benefits.

Rockefeller first came to West Virginia in 1964 as a VISTA worker in Emmons, where he found his calling for public service and a life-long passion to fight for the people of West Virginia. After his VISTA service in Emmons, Rockefeller served as a member of the state House of Delegates, Secretary of State, President of West Virginia Wesleyan College, Governor and U.S. Senator.

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