HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Gov. Jim Justice asked Marshall University students and others to help him get the road bond amendment passed in the upcoming Oct. 7 special election during a Wednesday appearance on campus.
Justice, state Transportation Secretary Tom Smith, Marshall University President Jerome Gilbert and others were at the town hall meeting, the first of two town halls Justice had scheduled for the day. The other was set for Wednesday evening in Beckley.
Justice asked Marshall students for assistance to get the right information about the bond to voters.
“Now you’ve got to help me,” Justice said. “You’ve got to make sure that with your grandma, if she’s listened to somebody that’s scared her, you’ve got to take care of settling your grandma down and making sure she gets to vote.”
Justice said it’s important for voters to know the taxes that will pay for the $1.6 million in bonds are already in place.
Affiliated Construction Trades (ACT) Foundation Director Steve White said during an appearance Wednesday on MetroNews “Talkline” the road bond projects will create 5,000 to 6,000 construction jobs not counting thousands of other jobs associated with the projects.
White said his organization will be vigilant to make sure the provisions of the West Virginia Jobs Act are followed where 75 percent of the workers hired have to be from the local area.
“They have to be qualified, they have to meet the qualifications of any contractor, and if you’re from West Virginia or any surrounding border county, within 50 miles from our border, you are considered a local worker,” White said.
Justice said simply passing the bond by a few votes won’t be enough.
“I don’t want to pass this by nine votes. I want us to send a message to the world that ‘We’re West Virginia and we’re on our way,'” Justice said.
The early voting period begins Sept. 22.