Mountain Party Elects New Leader,
Sets 2014 Election Slate, and
Adopts Four Very Important Resolutions
July 21, 2014
Last Saturday, at its bi-annual convention in Sutton, the State Executive Committee for the West Virginia Mountain Party unanimously elected environmental activist Elise Keaton to lead the Party. The position of Executive Chair opened up when during the convention Charlotte Pritt formally announced her decision to step aside.
Pritt said “I am excited to pass the gavel to someone with both a brilliant legal mind and courageous youthful energy. WV’s younger generation is hungry for leadership that reflects the beauty of our mountains and spirit of our people. Elise Keaton provides that leadership.”
Asked why she decided to become a political activist, Keaton explained, “The Mountain Party is the party for our mountain people. Regardless of prior political inclinations, members of the Mountain Party come together around the values we share: health, mountains, clean waters, and thriving communities.” The new Chair added, “West Virginia is the crown gem of Appalachia and has much more to offer than just her mineral resources. I’m honored to lead the Party willing to fight for and protect her true bounty, the people who live here.”
Pritt, a state senator known for her straight talk and strong stance on environmental and social justice issues while serving at the statehouse, has pledged to remain active within the Mountain Party. During the two years Pritt was Executive Chair the number of voters registered as Mountain Party supporters increased by fifteen percent.
Pritt was instrumental in re-branding the Party, inspiring Mountain Party members to develop a new image which includes establishing a new website (MountainPartyWV.com), a new Mountain Party symbol and a new logo.
Pritt’s many provocative articles circulated in publications both in and out of West Virginia and her many travels to communities throughout the state greatly expanded the Party’s State Executive Committee. The former successful grassroots politician also influenced more Mountain Party candidates to put their names on the ballot and run for a wider variety of offices this year than ever before.
The 2014 Mountain Party slate of candidates includes Bob Henry Baber of Nicholas County, who was nominated at Saturday’s convention to run for U.S. Senate;
WV Senate District 17 – Jesse Johnson – Kan.;
WV House District 11 – Doctor Mark Myers – Roane;
WV House District 23 – Danny Ray Cooke – Boone;
WV House District 27 – Karen White – Mercer;
WV House District 32 – Tighe Bullock – Fayette;
WV House District 66 – Daniel Lutz – Jefferson; and,
Kanawha County Commission – Dianna Strickland.
This year’s Mountain Party convention delegates also chose to endorse:
U.S. House District 2 – Ed Rabel;
WV House District 49 – Mike Manypenny (Taylor)
WV House District 39 – Sally Shepherd (Kanawha); and
WV House District 37 – Mike Pushkin (Kanawha).
Included among the resolutions that were were adopted at Saturday’s convention were:
• To promote the State’s promulgation of rules to legalize medical marijuana, which was first authorized by the WV legislature in 1997;
• To promote the commercial growing of agricultural hemp, which WV legalized in in 2002. However, the rules for implementing the law have only been introduced into the legislature just this year; and,
• To promote the decriminalization of marijuana sales and possession.
Each of the above resolutions were passed unanimously.
This year’s Mountain Party delegates also unanimously backed full collective bargaining rights for WV public employees (including the right to strike), a human right federally guaranteed to foreign workers outside the U.S. by all U.S. trade treaties, but never extended to our Public Employees here in WV.
A rough draft of the proposed legislation is available at :
West Virginia’s general election is scheduled for November 4, 2014.
West Virginia, You DO have a choice. Support the Mountain Party!
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