Maybe this is true everywhere, but West Virginia politicians tend to get braver the closer they come to retirement or mortality.
WV Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, who isn't eligible to run again for that office, has shown courage on more than one occasion, including last week or so when his administration announced that it would take another look at the health impacts of mountaintop removal mining.
The very latest example is his veto of a bill that would have allowed West Virginians to carry concealed firearms without getting a permit and taking a gun safety class. It even made the NY Times online with the headline "A Governor Faces Down the Gun Lobby." He should have plenty of political cover, however, as a recent poll found that over 80 percent of respondents opposed the bill.
All I know is it led to quite a few wisecracks in the halls of the capitol, some of which my have been uttered by me.