Betty Ireland

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Betty Ireland
28th West Virginia Secretary of State
In office
January 17, 2005 – January 19, 2009
Governor Joe Manchin
Preceded by Joe Manchin
Succeeded by Natalie Tennant
Personal details
Born 1946 (age 71–72)
Charleston, West Virginia
Nationality  United States
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Sam Haddad
Children Chuck
Profession Politician, Teacher, Businesswoman

Betty Ireland (born 1946) was the 28th Secretary of State of West Virginia from 2005-2009, serving as the first woman elected to the executive branch of West Virginia state government.[1] She was also the first Republican elected to that position since 1972. Ireland did not seek a second term in 2008 due to her parents' health.[2] On December 30, 2010, Ireland announced she would run for Governor during the 2011 special election.[3] However she was unsuccessful in this pursuit.


Early in her career, Ireland spent several years teaching in the West Virginia public school system. Eventually, she entered the business sector, when Ireland took a job as an administrative assistant with Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance. [4] She subsequently became a certified pension consultant. [5]

For nearly six years (from 1977 to 1983), she was the owner of Retirement Systems & Services, a pension administration and consulting firm in Charleston, West Virginia. From 1983 to 1989, she was vice president and head of the pension division in the Trust Department of the Charleston National Bank of Commerce. Ireland moved to Jackson Kelly PLLC.[4]

Ireland became executive director of the West Virginia Consolidated Public Retirement Board in August 1998.[4] She returned to Jackson Kelly in 2002 to head its ancillary business endeavors as president of Jackson Kelly Solutions.[4]

Personal life

Ireland has four children, Chuck, Andy, Alex, and Janie, with her husband, Sam Haddad.

2004 election to Secretary of State

In 2004, Ireland defeated longtime political figure Ken Hechler, 52% to 48%, in a general election race, as Hechler attempted to return the Secretary of State position he previously held for sixteen years.[citation needed]

2011 gubernatorial campaign

On December 30, 2010, Ireland announced her intention to run for governor in the special election that will be held on October 4, 2011.[3][6][7] She lost the primary election to political newcomer Bill Maloney.


  1. Weidling, Jessica. "Betty Ireland, Secretary of State, West Virginia"<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. WV Secretary of State Betty Ireland Will Not Seek Office in 2008
  3. 3.0 3.1
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 King, Joselyn (June 2, 2008). "Ireland: Glass Ceiling Hangs Over Women". The Intelligencer. Wheeling, West Virginia. Retrieved February 8, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Porterfield, Mannix (December 9, 2010). "Ireland considers run for governor". The Register-Herald. Retrieved February 8, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Tomblin succeeds Manchin as West Virginia governor". Washington Post. November 15, 2010. Retrieved November 17, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Acting W.Va. Governor Proclaims Oct. 4 Election". Charleston Gazette. January 21, 2011. Retrieved January 21, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Joe Manchin III
West Virginia Secretary of State
Succeeded by
Natalie Tennant