By Major General Allen E. Tackett
This Friday, I went with a friend while she filed some paperwork. The friend was Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, and the paperwork was for her candidacy for the United States Senate.It was a big moment for her, and for me as Natalie's campaign chairman, but most importantly, it was a big moment for the state of West Virginia. I've known Natalie for more than 10 years, and in that time, I've seen that she is an embodiment of the spirit of West Virginia; she's the kind of leader we deserve.I met Natalie when she was a television journalist helping tell the stories of people all over the state. We have remained friends because Natalie cares about regular West Virginians and people who are less fortunate.And Natalie's own story sounds like the story of so many West Virginians. That's why I know she'll be a great senator: Natalie's one of us.She grew up on a farm in Marion County, as the youngest of seven children. When you grow up that way, you learn how to get along, how to use the resources around you, and how to solve problems for yourself. That's what West Virginians do, and we need more people like that in Washington.
And, like many West Virginia families, hers is a military one. Her husband Erik served in Afghanistan. She knows what that sacrifice looks like. Natalie knows that we need to take care of our soldiers, and that part of doing that is having a good family readiness program that takes care of their families while they are deployed.As our Secretary of State, Natalie's ability to solve problems has been second to none. She took her own experience fighting through red-tape as a small business owner and made sure that it was easier for West Virginians to file online, run a business and create jobs, right here in our state. Natalie has held people from both parties accountable and cut her own budget. She's calling for answers in the face of our recent water crisis.She's fair, and she's tough. Natalie always puts people above politics, and she knows West Virginia because she is West Virginia.West Virginia has so much potential for greatness, and I know that if we have the right voice in Washington we can reach it. I was lucky enough to count the late Sen. Byrd as one of my close friends. So I know firsthand the difference that a great senator can make for a state.In Washington, she'll fight for our children, our seniors, our soldiers and for our farms, our businesses and our families.I'm proud to support Natalie and I am asking you to support her, too. She'll put West Virginia first. She always has, and I know she always will.Tackett, now retired, was West Virginia's adjutant general from 1995 to 2011, and is campaign chairman for Natalie Tennant for Senate.