CHARLESTON — West Virginia Working Families Party congratulates Richard Ojeda for his overwhelming win in the Democratic primary for the Third District congressional seat. The growing political powerhouse also hailed the primary victories of endorsed insurgent and incumbent primary candidates for the state legislature as well as significant wins in the Charleston mayoral and City Council races. Nearly 90 percent of Working Families Party’s endorsed candidates prevailed in their primary races. WV Working Families Party created a targeted, intentional electoral program to build on the energy of the teachers’ strike and with the aim of reshaping the West Virginia Legislature in the image of its citizens.
West Virginia Working Families Party mobilized its grassroots supporter base to volunteer for endorsed candidates in the May primary. Support included volunteer canvassing; an extensive texting program, educating and turning out voters; an extensive candidate training; and campaign consultation.
“It’s the dawning of a new day in West Virginia politics. We’re going into the general election with a strong field and with opportunities in districts that others had ceded to Republicans,” said Ryan Frankenberry, state director of the West Virginia Working Families Party. “For too long, West Virginia’s legislature has worked for industry and the rich, not the rest of us. The teachers’ strike unleashed a true populist movement, giving everyday citizens the sense of the power we all hold when we work together.”
Richard Ojeda, the District 7 state senator and US Army veteran who emerged as a people’s champion during the teacher’s strike, is running for Congress on a platform to build an economy that works for all, ensuring healthcare access, and addressing the opioid crisis.
“I appreciate the support of West Virginia Working Families Party and can see the difference they made in today’s results,” said Richard Ojeda. “Just like during the teachers’ strike, we’re seeing what we can accomplish when we elevate working peoples’ issues in a meaningful way. I look forward to working with Working Families during the general election, and representing all of us when I am in Congress.”
Progressives racked up major wins in Charleston with the primary victories of Amy Goodwin for Charleston Mayor and Caitlyn Cook and Jennifer Pharr for Charleston City Council At-Large seats. WV Working Families Party endorsed this slate together with RiseUpWV – Kanawha Working Families Party to challenge corporate Democrats.
After the stunning events of this winter and spring, West Virginia Working Families Party saw a hunger for leaders who would actually represent residents, not industry and the richest. From electeds who took principled stands during the strike, to people who were inspired to challenge the racist, kleptocratic Trump administration, to residents who saw the power created when working people came together during the strike, Working Families endorsed a large and exciting class of candidates in the Democratic primaries.
Other WV Working Families Party victories:
Newcomer Rich Lindsay won a contested State Senate race in SD 8. WV WFP-endorsed State Senate candidates William Ihlenfeld (SD 1), and Stephanie Zucker (SD 14)** also won.
Working Families Party-endorsed winning Incumbent Senate members Stephen Baldwin (SD – 10) and Bob Beach (SD – 13).**
State House of Delegates
Working Families Party-endorsed State House of Delegates winning insurgent candidates are: Diana Magnone (HD 1), Lissa Lucas (HD 7), David Bland (HD 8), J. Morgan Leach (HD 10), Brianne Solomon (HD 14), Dakota Nelson (HD 16), Jeanette Rowsey (HD 17), Karen Nance (HD 18), Andrew Evans (HD 28), Sandy Shaw (HD 28), Margaret Staggers (HD 32), James Robinette* (HB 35), Renate Pore* (HD 35), Amanda Estep-Burton (HD 36), Larry Rowe* (HD 36), Tom Tull (HD 38), Cindy Lavender-Bowe (HD 42), Matthew Kerner (HD 45), Michael Angelucci (HD 50), Evan Hansen** (HD 51), Danielle Walker** (HD 51), Bibi Hahn (HD 58), John Isner (HD 59), Barby Frankenberry (HD 64), Sammi Brown (HD 65), and David Dinges (HD 66).
Working Families Party endorsed the following winning Incumbent House members: Shawn Fluharty (HD 3), Joe Canestraro (HD 4), Sean Hornbuckle (HD 16), Chad Lovejoy (HD 17), Rodney Miller (HD 23), Mick Bates (HD 30), Mike Pushkin* (HD 37), Tim Miley (HD 48), Linda Longstreth (HD 50), Mike Caputo (HD 50), Barbara Evans Fleischauer** (HD 51), John Williams** (HD 51), Rodney Pyles** (HD 51), and Isaac Sponaugle (HD 55).
West Virginia Working Families Party is a major new political player in the state and works to develop and support progressive candidates and move legislation to benefit working families. WVWFP played a critical role in the teachers’ strike, helping to organize teachers and supporters online, across the state, and at the state capitol. Backed by a coalition of individuals, community organizations, and local labor affiliates, West Virginia Working Families Party is the local arm of the national Working Families Party, the progressive political movement responsible for organizing resistance to the Trump Administration as well as successful state campaigns to raise the minimum wage, grant earned sick leave to workers, and other measures to improve life for working families. In 2017, the Working Families Party backed more than 1,000 candidates for local and state office in 23 states and won in two thirds of its races.
NOTE: Candidates with an asterisk have been endorsed in conjunction with WFP local branch Rise Up WV. Candidates with two asterisks have been endorsed in conjunction with WFP local branch Morgantown WFP.