West Virginia Republican Party
ChairpersonMark Harris[1]
HeadquartersPO Box 2711
Charleston, WV 25330
Membership (July 2021)Increase 429,733[2]
IdeologyConservatism
Social conservatism
Fiscal conservatism
Trumpism
Political positionRight-wing
National affiliationRepublican Party
Colors  Red
Seats in the U.S. Senate
1 / 2
Seats in the U.S. House
3 / 3
Statewide executive offices
6 / 6
Seats in the West Virginia Senate
23 / 34
Seats in the West Virginia House of Delegates
78 / 100
Website
www.wvgop.org
This article's lead section may be too short to adequately summarize the key points. Please consider expanding the lead to provide an accessible overview of all important aspects of the article. (August 2021)

The West Virginia Republican Party is the affiliate of the United States Republican Party in West Virginia. Mark Harris is the party chair.[1]

History

The Republican Party arose in 1854. The Democratic Party was an advocate of slavery and the Republican Party opposed it. There was a lot of turmoil in Virginia with the rise of the Republican Party. When the American Civil War reached Western Virginia, there was a rise in violence against those who opposed slavery. In May 1861, people traveled to Richmond, Virginia, to vote on secession of the state. Many Republicans had to leave the city because of the threats. Those who fled and others who lived in Western Virginia went to Wheeling to create their own government and began creating a new state, in which they were successful.

The Civil War helped the Republican Party gain recognition in the state. The Civil War in West Virginia often split families apart. The Boggs family lived in Pendleton County and one son was the head of the Confederate County Court while another son was the head of the Union Home guards in the north. Today, the northern party of Pendleton County is still strongly Republican. Republicans in Hampshire and Hardy counties left after the war to form Mineral and Grant counties, which are still primarily Republican. Republicans held the control in the state until the 1870s and the Confederates began voting and holding offices. In the 1870s, the party was so weak that it endorsed a Democratic governor.

Major Nathan Goff Jr. a veteran of the Civil War restructured the party. He was able to get the party to raise money and voters and recruit leaders. He led the party until the 1880s. He ran for governor in 1888 and was defeated by Aretas B. Fleming despite having more votes.[3] The Republicans were the dominant party until the Great Depression. Since the Depression, Democrats have controlled the state.

Arch Moore Jr. was elected the Republican governor in the 1960s. In 1985, Moore helped raise money and supervised recovery efforts for the flood of 1985. The state voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004. Betty Ireland was also elected as Secretary of State in 2004.

In the 2014 elections, the West Virginia Republican Party made major gains in West Virginia, capturing one of its two Senate seats, all of its congressional House seats for the first time since 1921, and gained control of both the West Virginia House of Delegates and the West Virginia Senate for the first time in 80 years.[4] In the 2016 elections, the Republicans held on to their seats and made gains in the State Senate and gained three statewide offices.[5][6]

In March 2019, the West Virginia GOP was embroiled in national controversy when a poster linking Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Muslim member of Congress, to the 9/11 attacks was displayed at the state capitol.[7]

Current elected officials

The West Virginia Republican Party holds all three of the state's three U.S. House seats. Incumbent governor Jim Justice who was elected as a Democrat in 2016, switched to the Republican Party in August 2017.[8]

Through 2020:

Members of Congress

U.S. Senate

U.S. House of Representatives

District Member Photo
1st David McKinley
David McKinley Official (cropped).jpg
2nd Alex Mooney
Alex Mooney Congress.jpg
3rd Carol Miller
Carol Miller, Official Portrait, 116th Congress.jpg

Statewide office (State Board of Public Works)

State Legislature

References

  1. ^ a b Adams, Steven Allen (15 March 2021). "West Virginia Republican Party Picks Mark Harris of Raleigh County as New Chairman". The Intelligencer. Wheeling News-Register. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  2. ^ Warner, Mac. "West Virginia Voter Registration Totals, July 2021" (PDF). West Virginia Secretary of State.
  3. ^ "West Virginia Archives & History: Emanuel Willis Wilson". Archived from the original on 2013-12-02. Retrieved 2020-03-11.
  4. ^ Willis, Derek (November 24, 2014). "Election Was Rough for Democrats. It Was Worse for West Virginia Democrats". The New York Times. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  5. ^ "The Latest: GOP maintains majority in West Virginia Senate". Miami Herald (from AP). November 9, 2016. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  6. ^ McElhinny, Brad (November 9, 2016). "W.Va. Republicans celebrate Trump win and GOP gains". West Virginia MetroNews. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  7. ^ Linton, Caroline (March 2, 2019). "Anti-Muslim poster at West Virginia GOP Day links Ilhan Omar to 9/11". CBS News. Retrieved March 3, 2019.
  8. ^ Federal Officials, West Virginia Republican Party, http://wvgop.org/leadership/federal-officials/, retrieved 13 December 2011