478
257 shares, 478 points

Gov. Justice is the largest farmer east of the Mississippi River. He is a long-time member of the National Corn Growers Association and a seven-time national corn growing champion. Jim, a passionate sportsman himself, developed Stoney Brook Plantation, a 15,000-acre hunting and fishing preserve in Monroe County, West Virginia. In 2016 Jim and his great bird dog companion, Lilly, bagged 73 grouse in our Mountain State.

Upon the death of his father in 1993, Jim became the President and CEO of Bluestone Industries, Inc. and Bluestone Coal Corporation. Over the next 15 years, Jim launched a massive expansion of multiple businesses which included significant coal reserve expansion, Christmas tree farms, cotton gins, turfgrass operations, golf courses, timber enhancement and land projects just to mention a few. Before being elected governor, Jim was the president and CEO of 102 different companies.

Governor Justice spent his career creating thousands of jobs and understands how to put people to work.

During late 2008 and early 2009, Jim successfully negotiated the sale of Bluestone Industries, Inc. and affiliated companies, which comprised all of the family’s West Virginia coal mines at the time, to Mechel, OAO, one of Russia’s leading mining and metal companies. The Russian company failed, laid off coal miners, and was going to walk on their financial obligations.

In 2015, Jim reacquired all of these Bluestone assets back from Mechel and, in a short time, reopened most of the mines and created more than 200 new mining jobs. Had Mr. Justice not stepped up, these mines would have stayed closed, back taxes would not have been paid, and UMWA pensioners would have been left in the cold.

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