- Associated Press - Saturday, January 14, 2017

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia Gov.-elect Jim Justice has announced his appointments to lead the state’s administration and transportation departments.

Tom Smith will serve as secretary of the Department of Transportation and also commissioner of the Division of Highways. Smith most recently served as a senior transportation advisor for the Appalachian Regional Commission in Washington.

Justice said in a release that West Virginia’s “roads and bridges are crumbling and Tom Smith is the right choice to spearhead the effort to upgrade our transportation infrastructure.”

Before working at the Appalachian Regional Commission, Smith was the Federal Highway Administration’s West Virginia director for 16 years.

Also on Saturday, Justice named John Myers as secretary of the Department of Administration. Myers is the acting director of the West Virginia Lottery and he also worked as manager of corporate administration for Toyota manufacturing in Buffalo, West Virginia.

Myers said in a release that he wants “to help the taxpayers by making government run more cost-effective.”

Justice made two cabinet appointments on Friday. He chose Austin Caperton to head the Department of Environmental Protection and U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin’s wife, Gayle Manchin, to head the Department of Education and the Arts.

Gayle Manchin was on the state Board of Education from 2007 to 2015. Her husband was governor from 2005 to 2010.

Caperton is president of Caperton Inc. and has been vice chairman of the West Virginia Public Energy Authority. He is cousin of former Democratic Gov. Gaston Caperton.

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