Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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October 8, 2010

Porter Jr. proud to finish father’s term

PRINCETON – Gov. Joe Manchin announced Thursday that he had selected Thomas Mike Porter Jr. of Bluefield to fill the vacancy at the 25th District, West Virginia House of Delegates, that was created when his father, Thomas Mike Porter Sr., passed away in September.

The Mercer County Executive Committee submitted a letter Wednesday to the governor with the names of three nominees: Dr. Joseph Ellington, Dr. Zane Lawhorn and Thomas Mike Porter Jr. Manchin commended the committee for submitting the nominees’ names in a timely fashion.

“I am very pleased that Mike Jr. has accepted this opportunity to get involved in public service and have the chance to carry on a special legacy that his father left,” Manchin said. “I have always respected the desires of the Porter family and that has been an important aspect throughout this process. Mike Porter Sr. was a hard-working and well-respected public servant and I am confident that his son will mirror the same work ethic on behalf of the citizens of Mercer County to the best of his ability.”

Porter Jr. will serve throughout the remainder of his father’s term which expires at the end of November. He said Thursday that he had not made a decision about whether to run for office if he had an opportunity to do so.

“I’m a little undecided right now,” he said.

However, Porter Jr. said he was eager to serve in Charleston and continue his father’s work.

“My dad, he was never a quitter of anything he did. He taught us that. If we started something, we needed to finish it because we’re not quitters. I want to complete the job that my dad started for the citizens of Mercer County. I just want to be there as a representative of Mercer County and when comes December, I can say, ‘Dad, your job’s done,’ and he would be very proud. He fought hard for Mercer County and I just hope during the short time I’m there that I can do the same.”

Mercer County Republicans were checking to see whether Porter Jr. could run for the 25th District seat in November or whether Manchin will have to make another appointment after the election. The name of Mike Porter Sr. is on the ballots that have been sent to overseas and military voters, said Roman Stauffer, chairman of the Mercer County Republican Executive Committee.

Stauffer said the committee’s members planned to discuss their options Thursday.

“We actually have a conference  call (Thursday) evening to decide what we would like to do as far as replacing Mike Porter’s (Sr.) name on the ballot,” Stauffer said Thursday. “It seems like we have the option of leaving his name on the ballot or finding a replacement, and we haven’t decided what to do yet.”

Stauffer stated that the committee planned to make a decision quickly. The deadline for making such a choice is Monday.

“If we choose to replace him, we’ll have the name by (this) morning,” he said.

— Contact Greg Jordan at

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