Mountain Party to Run Bob Henry Baber for U.S. Senate Against Capito and Tennant

The Mountain Party will run Bob Henry Baber against Republican Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito and Democratic Secretary of State Natalie Tennant for the open U.S. Senate seat in November.

About 30 Mountain Party delegates gathered at the party’s convention Saturday at the Braxton Senior Center in Sutton, West Virginia.

The delegates voted overwhelmingly, with only one dissenting vote, to put Baber on the ballot in November.

The move went against the earlier wishes of Mountain Party chair Charlotte Pritt, who in April argued against running Baber for Senate.

“The Senate race is not essential,” Pritt said at the time. “It’s not good strategy to run a Mountain Party candidate in that race. And it’s a race we clearly cannot win. As a matter of strategy, we should be focusing on local races where we have a chance to win.”

In an interview after the convention, Baber conceded that he would not win the Senate race.

“I’m saying I won’t be elected,” Baber said. “But to speak the truth and be beholden to no one is a victory. Speaking the truth is victory.”

Baber says that even if Tennant were in favor of a moratorium on mountaintop removal mining and fracking — which she is not — he would still run as a Mountain Party candidate.

“Yes, I would run anyway,” Baber said. “The more voices speaking common sense, the better.”

What if the race is close and Baber’s three percent spoils it for Tennant and puts Capito in the Senate?

“I don’t think the race is going to be that close,” Baber said. “The Mountain Party has been pretty consistently getting about three percent. We might be able to grow that this year to four, possibly even five percent. That would be amazing.  Those are people who would not vote otherwise if the Mountain Party wasn’t running somebody for Senate.”

Baber agreed that Tennant and Capito are pretty much the same when it comes to coal issues. Why is that?

“Because you can’t get elected to the U.S. Senate unless you kiss the black ring of coal,” Baber said.


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