Below are our endorsements for state legislature and Charleston city-wide elections. Also check out our Voter Guide for additional recommendations for local races, including city council wards.
At the city level, we want to support candidates who will bring transparency to city government and work to ensure that all voices are represented. We want leaders who will ensure that the city invests fairly in services for all communities, regardless of income or racial composition. And we want city leaders who will fight for working families and develop real solutions for tackling the opioid epidemic.
We thank all of the candidates who filled our our municipal questionnaire (responses available here), which was essential to getting to know candidates' values and priorities. After reviewing questionnaire responses and a poll of our membership, Rise Up WV's electoral committee voted to endorse the following candidates for mayor and at-large city council:
Mayor: Amy Goodwin
Amy has shown real passion for making Charleston a city that works for all of its residents, and she has also done the policy research to back up her plan of action.
She is committed to government access for all citizens of Charleston, and has shown the desire to truly represent this city as a whole, including neighborhoods that are too often left behind. Specifically, we support her plan to appoint CURA board members from affected areas and create a board that is representative of the areas CURA was designed to serve.
We also appreciate her desire to implement locally policies such as a “Ban-The-Box” Ordinance to decrease barriers to employment for those seeking to reintegrate into society, as well as her plans to provide expanded and accessible recreational and enrichment opportunities for Charleston youth.
City Council At Large:
Caitlin Cook brings with her a wealth of experience and a desire for logic and data to influence city policy. She seeks more community collaboration and transparency, as well as greater investment in areas that the city has historically underinvested in, like the West Side.
Jennifer Pharr is a native of Kanawha City and prepared to listen to all of Charleston as she makes policy decisions. She has done research into models in other cities around homelessness and harm reduction. Her plans for dealing with abandoned properties, ensuring equal and fair treatment of all residents and providing expanded WiFi access were all things that excited us about her vision for our city.
Bill Price supports a Housing First model to fight homelessness, holding town hall throughout the city for citizen input on policy, and improving our public transit system. He will fight for working families to ensure that Charleston is a place where people can "thrive, not just survive."
Joe Solomon is committed to dealing with income inequality in Charleston and fighting for working families. He will push for living wages, for paid sick leave, and for fair scheduling, as well as think outside of the box to better support Charleston’s youth on bringing more creative efforts to life - including possibly a Fringe Festival, a Charleston TEDx, or a Summer Coding Camp.
Rise Up WV did not endorse for all six at-large city council seats because there are so many excellent candidates running for city council this year.
State legislature endorsements
At the state level, we want to support candidates who will:
- Take on the state’s powerful special interests and fight to ensure that all of us have healthcare, quality public education, livable income, secure retirement and no one is left with basic needs unmet
- Value our state’s public employees and fully fund the Public Employee Insurance Agency
- Support collective bargaining rights
- Fight for a livable wage
- Get money out of politics by supporting public financing of elections
We thank all of the candidates who filled our our state legislative questionnaire. After reviewing questionnaire responses and a poll of our membership, Rise Up WV's electoral committee voted to endorse the following candidates for House Districts 35, 36 and 37 and Senate Districts 8 and 17:
Mary Ann Claytor for Senate District 17 is committed to putting people over profit and being a voice for ordinary West Virginians in the state legislature. She will fight for a higher minimum wage, free higher education for West Virginians who remain in the state, and healthcare for all.
Richard Lindsay for Senate District 8 will be a voice for working families, fighting for a higher minimum wage, paid family leave and universal daycare. He stood on the picket lines with striking school employees and Frontier workers, and will fight to ensure PEIA is fully funded and protected.
Renate Pore for House District 35 brings a wealth of policy experience, particularly focused on expanding healthcare for West Virginians. As a delegate, she would fight to expand access to affordable healthcare and higher education, as well as infrastructure investment and a clean environment.
James Robinette for House District 35 is a third generation union pipefitter and a fighter for working West Virginians. He is committed to prevailing wage and to repealing the “right to work” legislation that makes it harder for workers to organize. He will work to get money out of politics and for expanded voting rights.
Amanda Estep-Burton for House District 36 knows first-hand what it is like to be a struggling single parent in West Virginia and will fight against the rising income inequality in our state. She organized to feed students during the school employees’ strike and supports increasing the natural gas severance tax to fully fund PEIA.
Larry Rowe for House District 36 is a current delegate with a record of supporting working families in the 36th district. He will continue to oppose efforts to weaken unions and cut social services. He was a strong advocate for school and public employees in the 2018 session.
Mike Pushkin for House District 37 has a proven track record of being accessible, accountable and truly representing the interests of his constituents. He will continue to support worker’s rights, anti-discrimination legislation, and raising the natural gas severance tax to fully fund PEIA.