CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The governor-elect in West Virginia is expecting to find support for the Mountain State at the White House in the New Year.
“We, as West Virginians right here, have a very unique situation in that we’ve got a real pathway right to the White House,” Governor-elect Jim Justice said on Wednesday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”
Last Saturday, Justice was coaching basketball at Greenbrier East High School when he said Eric Trump called him and then handed over the phone to his father, President-elect Donald Trump.
The two spoke for about 15 minutes, according to Justice.
“He said, ‘It’s high time two good men that are running for the right reasons won,'” Justice said of the phone conversation with Trump who opted not to endorse Senate President Bill Cole (R-Mercer, 06) ahead of the Nov. 8 general election.
Justice, a registered Democrat, said President-elect Trump instructed him to tell all West Virginians that coal miners would be going back work with him in the White House. However, Justice was calling for some caution.
Any future coal rebound, he argued, will depend on a number of factors.
“You’re going to have to have regulations removed. You’re going to have to have a real push to use coal and you’re going to have to have the market,” Justice said.
“There’s reason for concern, let’s don’t go dancing in the street, but I tell you, it’s a good day, it’s a really good day.”
In addition to coal miner jobs, Justice said the phone conversation with Trump also touched on clean coal, energy regulations and other economic possibilities for West Virginia in tourism, agriculture and natural gas.
“There is no doubt whatsoever that I’ve got an open line and there is no doubt whatsoever that they will listen and there’s no doubt whatsoever that I won’t hesitate to call,” Justice said.
Justice was planning to spend Thanksgiving Day with his family in Greenbrier County.