One is a Republican.
The other is a Democrat.
Both are running for a seat in Congress from the Second Congressional district in West Virginia.
They are putting aside their political differences and joining together to fight hunger in West Virginia.
Dr. Matt Hahn (R) and Cathy Kunkel (D) are running a one-mile race the last weekend in May to raise money for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Eastern Panhandle.
The Boys & Girls Clubs, along with West Virginia schools, provide meals for West Virginia children.
Because of the Covid-19 outbreak school closings, demand for meals is three times the usual number.
“Food insecurity is very real for our families and many other children in our community. We have seen an exponential increase in our meal program – nearly triple– since the stay-at-home order began on April 16th,” said Stacie Rohn, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of the Eastern Panhandle.
(To donate, go to the Boys & Girls Club of the Eastern Panhandle’s here.)
“This may be the first time in American history that candidates running against one another are at the same time working together,” Dr. Hahn said. “Most candidates spend their time tearing one another down. Political division has gotten out of hand. People are sick of it. We felt like doing something positive.”
Hahn and Kunkel are adamant about working with individuals from both parties to reduce the animosity between Democrats and Republicans.
“I am looking forward to this friendly competition to support the incredibly important work of the Boys and Girls Club and to focus on what unites us, not what divides us,” said Kunkel.
The goal for the event is to raise at least $10,000. The money raised will be 100% directed toward feeding hungry children across West Virginia from now through the end of summer. The race will be held at Morgan Grove Park, in Shepherdstown, West Virginia on May 30th at 9 am. In light of social distancing, a live video of the race will be broadcast.
Dr. Matt Hahn has lived in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, for the past 20 years with his wife, Bibi. They raised their daughter, Willa, there. Matt is a practicing family physician, working his entire career in a small-town practice.
Currently he is working with patients and the community to mitigate the ravages of the Coronavirus-19.
Cathy Kunkel is an energy policy expert and public advocate in Charleston, WV. In 2014 Cathy founded Advocates for a Safe Water System in response to the Freedom Industries chemical spill. In 2017 she co-founded Rise Up West Virginia, a grassroots organization that fights for universal health care, strengthening public education and better services for those in recovery.