EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSFormer WV Secretary Of State Holt Turns 100
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Heath Harrison
Web Producer: Heath Harrison
Also Contributing: Bethany Simmons
Reported: Aug. 19, 2013 12:42 PM EDT
Former West Virginia Secretary of State Helen Holt celebrated her 100th birthday on Friday.
The wife of former U.S. Sen. Rush Holt, she served in the statewide position overseeing West Virginia elections from 1957 to 1959.
She was appointed to the W.Va. House of Delegates in 1955, to fill the term of her husband, following his death from cancer. She served in the seat until 1956.
A year later, she was appointed by Gov. Cecil Underwood to serve as secretary of state, after Daniel O'Brien died in office. She was the first woman to hold statewide office in West Virginia.
President Dwight Eisenhower appointed Holt to a national nursing home reform commission in 1960. She served in the Federal Housing Administration and the Department of Housing and Urban Development until the 1980s.
She currently resides in Washington, D.C. Her son, U.S. Rep. Rush Holt Jr. represents New Jersey in Congress.
U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller honored Holt on her birthday.
"Helen Holt's centennial birthday marks a lifetime spent serving others," Rockefeller said in a news release. 'For those of us who have long admired Helen, we know she is a remarkable lady and a proud West Virginian who embodies the spirit of service that is unique to the people of our state."
West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant praised Holt, who she said she has been in close contact with since 2009.
'Helen Holt has become a trusted mentor and a wonderful friend over these last couple years, Tennant said on her website. 'She is someone I can count on to always speak her mind. She is truly a trailblazer in West Virginia, and I appreciate the fact that she is still so eager to travel back here for special events.
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