W.Va. Politics

Ashton Marra

Del. Ryan Ferns announced Monday he has switched parties and will run in 2014 for the state Senate as a Republican.

The former Democrat is in his second term in the House of Delegates and first made the announcement in his hometown of Wheeling, W.Va.

Ferns then traveled to Charleston, W.Va., where he, surrounded by Republican members of the state legislature, filed his pre-candidacy papers with the Secretary of State’s Office for the Senate seat.

Rahall.house.gov/

Another county in Southern West Virginia is now recognized as a high drug trafficking area. Congressman Nick Rahall announced the federal label today. The title means the County is eligible to receive additional Federal resources to further the coordination and development of drug control efforts.

  A fire engulfs a city block in downtown Marlinton, the state's political future lies in the hands of voters who have traditionally voted the way their families did or aren't getting out to the polls at all, and the inaugural Iron Pour heats up Morgantown for sculptors. 

DonkeyHotey/Flickr

On a national level, political watchers say West Virginia is on the verge of a big change, one that would pull the state from its traditionally Democratic roots and push it toward a future of Republican leaders and a new generation of young voters might be behind that change.

West Virginians are a proud people, proud most of all of their heritage. Almost any West Virginian can share his or her story of a parent or grandparent who came to the state to work in the factories, steel mills or coal mines to provide for their families.

Dave Mason
Brian Blauser

West Virginia's political center seems to be abandoning its roots in the southern part of the state, a new program helps homeschoolers collaborate with one another, a report from the Trans Tech Conference in Morgantown, and Dave Mason performs "We Just Disagree" on this Mountain Stage Song of the Week.

Appalachian Regional Commission with data from the U.S. Census Bureau

Southern West Virginia has traditionally been a Democratic stronghold, but an article in The Washington Post said that is starting to change.

With a decline in the coal industry’s production and a President enacting stronger regulations on it, the politics are shifting toward the right, at least, that’s what the article claims. But can it be said that a trend in southern West Virginia is actually happening across the entire state?

A breakdown of a recent article from The Washington Post on whether West Virginia is transitioning from a blue state to a red state,  Charleston native Trey Kay continues to explore culture wars over textbooks in a new documentary, and a series of forums seeks to figure out how to stop budget cuts to higher education.

Provided

There’s always been the debate, to which region does West Virginia belong? Former Senator Robert C. Byrd was famously quoted as saying West Virginia is the most northern southern state, the most southern northern state, the most eastern western state and the most western eastern state. Many West Virginians will tell you, we belong with everyone and yet, we belong with no one.

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