Stephen Smith is running for Governor of West Virginia as a Democrat.
Smith, on a 55 county town hall tour of West Virginia, will be stopping in Berkeley Springs at Tari’s Premiere Cafe on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 between 6 pm and 8 pm.
Smith would face off against Senator Joe Manchin, who told Politico last month that he’s thinking of running for Governor in 2020.
“I think about it every minute of every day. Now, thinking about it and doing it are two different things,” Manchin told Politico. “I’ll make a decision this fall sometime. I don’t think there’s any hurry at all.”
On the Republican side, former Democrat turned Republican Governor Jim Justice will face off against former Democrat turned Republican Woody Thrasher and former House of Delegates member Michael Folk.
According to filings with the West Virginia Secretary of State, Smith has raised $148,000 and spent $87,000 on the campaign so far.
Smith says that the key reason West Virginia is in such trouble – with high rates of obesity, smoking and drug overdose deaths – is corporate domination of the state.
“We didn’t do this to ourselves,” Smith told Corporate Crime Reporter in an interview last year.
“We sometimes believe the stereotypes and hype that gets lobbed against us. For generations, corporations, often with the help of the federal government, have done a really good job of systematically robbing our people and our communities of our economic wealth. That had consequences. The consequences include substance abuse. And it’s not just opioids. Opioids are the latest. But we have been in a crisis of mental health and suicide for a generation or two now. Corporate control has led to the defamation of unions and worker power. It’s a pattern of abuse.”
“If anything, my experience is that West Virginians have become more resilient, more creative, in part because of what we had to suffer through. I have had the opportunity to organize in communities across the country and in my experience, West Virginia is one of the more fun and energizing places to organize because people have seen real pain and have worked to find ways to fight against it. It doesn’t mean we always win. It does mean we can win in the long run.”