Despite the constant attacks from the liberal media and professional America bashers like Michael Moore, the United States continues to serve as a beacon around the world to those seeking freedom and opportunity. The American system rewards anyone who is willing to follow our laws and work hard. Charles Minimah, Republican nominee for secretary of state, is one such individual.
Minimah served his native country of Nigeria during its civil war in the 1970s, then sought opportunity in the United States. Our country and state was built in no small way by immigrants such as Minimah. German born Carl Schurz emigrated to Missouri and served as a Union general and United States Senator. Closer to home, my great-grandfather came to Barbour County from Italy. He quickly learned the language, sent his children to public school (then later on Alderson-Broaddus College), and established his own businesses. Almost everyone in West Virginia has family or friendship ties to individuals who have arrived in the past hundred years.
Once in West Virginia, Minimah established a business and worked earnestly to make it a success. Like so many other immigrants he gave back to the community. Minimah helped to establish black heritage museums and tours in the Kanawha Valley. This region was home to civil rights activist and Republican orator Booker T. Washington. Minimah certainly has helped to carry on Washington's legacy.
Minimah's vision lies in making voting more accessible and secure. The state must continue enforcing the reforms enacted by current secretary Betty Ireland while continuing to reinvigorate voter confidence in the system. Coming from a region that sometimes struggles with democratic ideals, Minimah insists that he has "an appreciation of our democracy that is often taken for granted." Like many who come to the United States, including so many of our ancestors, he understands how special this country is.
Charles Minimah will continue the current secretary's fight for clean democracy.