West Virginia Republican Party
ChairpersonMatthew Herridge
GovernorJim Justice
Senate PresidentCraig Blair
SpeakerRoger Hanshaw
HeadquartersPO Box 2711
Charleston, WV 25330
Membership (2023)Increase 456,885[1]
IdeologyConservatism
National affiliationRepublican Party
Colors  Red
Seats in the U.S. Senate
1 / 2
Seats in the U.S. House
2 / 2
Statewide executive offices
6 / 6
Seats in the West Virginia Senate
31 / 34
Seats in the West Virginia House of Delegates
89 / 100
Website
www.wvgop.org

The West Virginia Republican Party is the affiliate of the United States Republican Party in West Virginia. Matthew Herridge is the party chair.[2] It is currently the dominant party in the state, and is one of the strongest affiliates of the national Republican Party. It controls both of West Virginia's U.S. House seats, one of the U.S. Senate seats, the governorship, and has supermajorities in both houses of the state legislature.

History

Part of Virginia

John Curtiss Underwood formed the party's newspaper in Wheeling, the first in any of the border states[3] using financial aid from William H. Seward. Underwood also received financial backing to form a colony for northern workers in Ceredo.[4]

Republicans, such as Cassius Marcellus Clay and Underwood, viewed John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry as damaging to the party.[5] Almost all of Abraham Lincoln's support in the 1860 election came from around Wheeling.[6]

Later

West Virginia sent delegates to the 1866 National Union Convention where Governor Arthur I. Boreman argued against supporting black suffrage as "we did not come here to commit suicide" and that passing the resolution would have them "damned to all eternity".[7]

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.[8] The Republicans were the dominant party until the Great Depression. From the Great Depression until 2014, Democrats 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.[9] In the 2016 elections, the Republicans held on to their seats and made gains in the State Senate and gained three statewide offices.[10][11]

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.[12]

Current elected officials

The West Virginia Republican Party hold both of the state's two U.S. House seats. Incumbent governor Jim Justice who was elected as a Democrat in 2016, switched to the Republican Party in August 2017.[13]

As of January 3, 2023:

Members of Congress

U.S. Senate

U.S. House of Representatives

District Member Photo
1st Carol Miller
2nd Alex Mooney

Statewide office (State Board of Public Works)

State legislative leadership

Senate

House of Delegates

Recent electoral history

Legislative Elections
House of
Delegates
Governor Senate
Year Seats Change Change Seats Year
2000
25 / 100
Steady Bob Wise (D) Increase 1
6 / 34
2000
2002
32 / 100
Increase 7 Increase 4
10 / 34
2002
2004
32 / 100
Steady Joe Manchin (D) Increase 3
13 / 34
2004
2006
28 / 100
Decrease 4 Decrease 2
11 / 34
2006
2008
29 / 100
Increase 1 Decrease 3
8 / 34
2008
2010
35 / 100
Increase 6 Decrease 2
6 / 34
2010
2012
46 / 100
Increase 11 Earl Ray Tomblin
(D)
Increase 3
9 / 34
2012
2014
64 / 100
Increase 18 Increase 9
18 / 34
2014
2016
63 / 100
Decrease 1 Jim Justice (D) Increase 4
22 / 34
2016
2018
57 / 100
Decrease 7 Jim Justice (R) Decrease 2
20 / 34
2018
2020
76 / 100
Increase 18 Increase 3
23 / 34
2020
2022
88 / 100
Increase 12 Increase 7
30 / 34
2022

References

  1. ^ Warner, Mac. "West Virginia Voter Registration Totals, April 2023" (PDF). West Virginia Secretary of State.
  2. ^ "Party Officers". GOP. Retrieved 2023-03-16.
  3. ^ Abbott 1986, p. 10.
  4. ^ Abbott 1986, p. 12.
  5. ^ Abbott 1986, p. 13.
  6. ^ Abbott 1986, p. 17.
  7. ^ Abbott 1986, p. 68-70.
  8. ^ "West Virginia Archives & History: Emanuel Willis Wilson". Archived from the original on 2013-12-02. Retrieved 2020-03-11.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ "The Latest: GOP maintains majority in West Virginia Senate". Miami Herald (from AP). November 9, 2016. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  11. ^ McElhinny, Brad (November 9, 2016). "W.Va. Republicans celebrate Trump win and GOP gains". West Virginia MetroNews. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ Federal Officials, West Virginia Republican Party, http://wvgop.org/leadership/federal-officials/, retrieved 13 December 2011

Works cited