3-22-13 Flags lowered to honor Spears

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has ordered all flags at state facilities to be lowered in honor of the late state Sen. Jae Spears.
All state flags will be flown at half-staff from dawn to dusk today, Friday.

Spears, the West Virginia Senate’s first female majority whip, died last Saturday. She was 90.

“Sen. Spears represents a record of firsts for women in state government-being the first woman to serve as Senate Majority Whip, the first woman to sit on the Joint Committee on Government and Finance, and the first-and only-woman to have chaired the Senate Finance Committee. She worked hard throughout her career for the good of the citizens of West Virginia and she will long be remembered for her pioneering spirit,” Gov. Tomblin said. “Joanne and I extend our deepest condolences to Jae’s family.”

The Randolph County Democrat also was the only woman to chair the Senate Finance Committee, and was the first female member of the Joint Committee on Government and Finance.

She was first elected to the Senate in 1980 after serving three terms in the House of Delegates. She became majority whip in 1982 and led the Finance Committee from 1984 to 1986.

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