HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. (WDVM) — The Mountain Party has endured over the years, but so far have little electoral success to show for their energy on the campaign trail. Still, candidates under the Mountain Party banner are working hard to connect with West Virginia voters.
The party is fielding candidates for the executive mansion and the state legislature. The party takes positions aligned with progressive campaigns, promoting a social justice and green energy platform. In Berkeley County this week, House of Delegates candidate Robert Smith was joined by Mountain Party candidate for governor, Danny Lutz, who wants to help underserved communities in southern West Virginia, which he considers to be a food desert.
“If we could take available food before it gets to its expiration date,” says Lutz, “pick it up in a co-op and transport it to centers two or three times a week to communities such as Kermit or McDowell [County] it would make a big positive difference there.”
In the House of Delegates seat for Berkeley and Morgan counties, candidate Smith is finishing his college degree, but is out meeting voters to voice his concern for the environment, working families and small businesses. The status quo in the state capital, Smith says, isn’t making the air or water cleaner, households any more financially stable or shops on Main Street any more viable.
“We see that in the state capital of Charleston there’s a lot of disfunction,” Smith says “and we want to offer new solutions, new alternatives to the way that things have been done.”
Smith is running in the eastern panhandle district now held by Republican Delegate Larry Kump, who lost his primary in June.
While the Mountain Party has been active in West Virginia for the past twenty years or so, they can’t really lay claim to any electoral successes. But their candidates, with passionate public policy convictions, are persistent and anticipate the political winds will eventually carry them into office.