MORGANTOWN – Democrat Zach Shrewsbury brought his campaign for U.S. Senate to Morgantown Wednesday evening with a rally at 123 Pleasant Street.
Shrewsbury, a Marine Corps veteran and Princeton resident, filed his candidacy Oct. 12, and since Sen. Joe Manchin announced he’s not running for reelection, currently stands as the only Democratic candidate to succeed Manchin. The leading Republican contenders facing off in the May primary are Gov. Jim Justice and Rep. Alex Mooney.
The Morgantown rally was the second of six campaign kickoff events he’s holding across the state. The first was in Charles Town, and events will follow in Charleston, Huntington, Bluefield and Fayetteville.
A community organizer, he stands left of Manchin on the political spectrum and isn’t afraid to be called a socialist.
The portion of his campaign website devoted to issues shows he supports strong labor protections and the right to unionize, universal healthcare, environmental justice, energy independence with an emphasis on renewables manufacturing, racial justice, support for veterans, LGBTQIA2S and abortion rights, and progressive tax policies, among other issues.
Supporters in attendance included several current and former local officials, among them Monongalia County Delegates Evan Hansen and Anitra Hamilton, former Delegate Danielle Walker, City Council members Brian Butcher and Danielle Trumble, and former Councilman Barry Wendell.
Several rose to speak before Shrewsbury took the mic. First was Deb McCarthy, vice chair of the Mercer County Democratic Executive Committee and a member of the state Democratic Executive Committee.
She talked about the common worries of such things as healthcare and inflation and about Shrewsbury’s ability to handle them.
“He is a big guy with a big heart,” she said. “He is a big guy who is full of integrity.” He’s worked his adult life to uplift the communities he is in.
Butcher said he met Shrewsbury while they were both doing mutual aid in the southern part of the state. Wednesday before the rally he was handing out warming to supplies to the homeless.
A candidate needs to be a good person with core values that they want to enact in the world, he said. “I’ve known Zach for several years. I can vouch for him as that person. … Zach is a damn fine human being that is going to look out for the people of West Virginia.”
Walker took the stage and led loud cheers of “Shrewsbury for Senate!” He will work for the people on the issues of homelessness, pay equity, a sound justice system, immigration, and racial justice, she said. “Mountaineers, West Virginians will have the representation that they deserve.”
Shrewsbury told his listeners, “We are on a journey with this campaign. Our journey toward a prosperous future must begin with an unwavering commitment to the working class. … The few have prospered while the many have toiled in hardship. It is our duty now to challenge this injustice and demand that the workers of West Virginia receive our fair share.”
Instead of ravaging the environment, he said, we could build solar panels and windmills here. He will work to prioritize education and break down the barriers.
“West Virginia stands not just as the mountain state,” he said, “but we can stand as the beacon of progress, equality and solidarity with workers everywhere.”