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Reaction to Sen. Jay Rockefeller's retirement

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 11, 2013 at 4:59 pm •  Published: January 11, 2013

— "Senator Rockefeller has served our state with distinction for over 40 years. Jay has always been a true gentlemen and hardworking statesmen while working hard on the challenges that face our state and country," said Republican U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, who had planned to run against Rockefeller in 2014. "While we disagree on many policy issues, the No. 1 concern for both of us has always been the welfare of West Virginians. I consider him a personal friend and thank him for his service."

— "Sen. Rockefeller's decision not to seek re-election makes West Virginia an even stronger pickup opportunity for Republicans in 2014," said National Republican Senatorial Committee Executive Director Rob Collins. "Voters next year will have a clear choice between a Democrat who will be a loyal vote for President Obama and Harry Reid as they try to kill West Virginia's coal industry and bankrupt our country with reckless government spending, versus a Republican who will serve as an effective check-and-balance on their liberal agenda and work to get our country's economy back on track."

— "For more than a generation, Senator Rockefeller has been a dedicated public servant, a brilliant legislator, and a loyal colleague in the U.S. Senate," said U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. "While we will greatly miss him in our caucus, I am confident we can elect an independent-minded Democrat to his seat."

— "To stop and think that in 2014, Jay has given 50 years of public service, and to think about an individual that has worked that many years of serving the state of West Virginia, it's my only hope that whoever would serve as United States senator as he retires in that position would have the same drive, and commitment and desire to do good things for people in West Virginia," said state Democratic Party Chairman Larry Puccio.

— "When I first arrived in Washington two and a half years ago, I couldn't have received a warmer welcome from Jay and his staff, and I am so personally grateful for all their help," U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, a fellow West Virginia Democrat, said. "More importantly, in all his decades of public service, Jay has followed one guiding principle: to improve the lives of West Virginians. Jay's heart has always been true, and we share the goal of serving the beautiful people of the state we love today and into the future."

— "With the announcement that U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller will not seek another term in office, I believe the State of West Virginia is losing one of its most valued and influential leaders of our generation," West Virginia State Treasurer John D. Perdue, a Democrat, said.