United States Senator Joe Manchin (D- West Virginia) is a breath of fresh air amidst all the confusion and dysfunction in Washington.  Joe hasn’t been in our nation’s capital very long but he is trying to rebuild America and West Virginia like a hard working CEO of a corporation. (Joe won the special election in November 2010 to fill the seat of Robert Byrd, who had died in office.)

Joe’s family background and his own experience go deep into leadership and capitalism. His Italian grandfather (Joe Manchin I) owned a grocery store. His father owned a carpet and furniture store.  Both his father and grandfather were elected as Mayors of Farmington, W.V., Joe’s hometown.

My first encounter with Joe Manchin was in the late 70’s before he was elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates in 1982. My wife and I wanted to carpet our stairs and all of the companies in the area could not figure out how to cover the edge of the steps until we called Joe’s company. Joe figured out how to do the job in just a few minutes. We were both thrilled we found someone who knew how to tackle the job and get it done correctly. Ever since that day, Manchin impressed me.

I have been a reporter for two daily newspapers, a newsman on television and a business owner for 37 years publishing a weekly paper with a large regional circulation. I have witnessed and covered many politicians and news events in the last 40 years, so I can really appreciate Joe’s work ethic and family background. He’s hard working and dedicated to getting the job done.

Starting Monday January 9, he is launching a two-week statewide tour focused on “Standing Up For Common Sense.”  On the tour Manchin will discuss policy changes ahead in 2012 and the need to stand up for common sense ideas that will boost the economy, create jobs, achieve energy independence and rebuild America.

Manchin wants to put politics aside and focus on what’s best for America and the next generation.