West Virginia’s first congressional district, the northern third of the state, gave Obama a respectable 41.5% of its vote in 2008. But in 2016, the voters there were smart enough to figure out the “status quo” wasn’t working for them. They were fed up.
In the primary they turned overwhelmingly to someone offering to break with the status quo: Bernie Sanders. Bernie took the state 51.4% (123,860) to Hillary’s 35.8% (86,354). In the general, Trump took WV-01 against Hillary, 68% to 26%.
So, it’s more than fair to ask— have the establishment Democrats figured out that their base wants something different than what the status quo establishment insists on offering? Nope.
Morgantown law professor Kendra Fershee isn’t running on one of the lesser-of-two evils DCCC platforms. She’s running on a platform focused on universal healthcare, effectively dealing with the opioid crisis, better education, jobs with livable wages and getting corrupt corporate money out of politics.
Please read her guest post below and, if you like it, consider contributing to her campaign here.
Living Free In A Free Country Requires Team Effort
by Kendra Fershee
My name is Kendra Fershee and I am the Democratic Nominee for Congress in the West Virginia First District. In May, I shocked West Virginia with a huge upset win over an extremely well-funded candidate who played it very safe, while I was open and honest about my values and policy positions.
My grassroots plan will work against our Republican incumbent who was elected in the Tea Party wave in 2010. But people really misread West Virginia politics, even in West Virginia, so many people think a candidate who talks about universal health care and legalization of medical cannabis cannot win here, despite the fact that Bernie Sanders won all 55 counties in WV (and outperformed Trump in the primary in three counties in my district).
Howie knows I can win; he did a deeper data dive during the primary and predicted I could win, even with a lot less funding than my opponent. He was 100% correct, and my success in the primary proved it.
As a first-time candidate I’m obviously new to running a campaign, but I truly thought people would see my primary results and realize that we have a winning plan and help me fundraise. Many of the powers-that-be in my district are still not taking my calls, though, which is unfortunate because they control the purse strings in my district.
I need a fraction of the money a typical congressional race needs to win. In the primary, I was out raised ten-to-one, outspent six-to-one, and I won by nine points. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and I are tied at the biggest money upsets in the country.
I’m confident I can win with $300k, which makes me the biggest bargain in the country (I’ve raised a little over $100k in the primary so far). But I’m having to show up in people’s offices without an appointment to do money pitches because they won’t return our calls. There was one poorly conducted poll in June (sample size of 87 people in a district of 600k+) that had me getting beat badly. The power brokers are using that as an excuse to ignore me. But when I crash their offices, I’m able to convince them that my campaign is worth the investment. I’m just running out of time and we need the cash.
Conventional wisdom these days is all wrong, which means that the power brokers are looking at the wrong measures to judge my campaign. Money and polls are bad indicators of success. I know I don’t need more money than my corporate PAC-funded (mostly from Big Pharma) opponent, but I do need enough to raise my name recognition. And when I do that, I will win and shock the entire country.
Again, if you like what you read above, Kendra Fershee could really use your help.
Thanks for always doing what you can to make a better world,
Howie, for the entire America Team