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50 W.Va. Lawmakers Sign Letter Endorsing Donald Trump

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A letter addressed ‘To the people of West Virginia’ has dozens of members from the West Virginia Legislature endorsing former President Donald Trump in the 2024 republican primary.

“As president, Donald J. Trump fought for conservative republican principles,” the letter states. “Trump is the proven candidate best capable to govern our country.”

The letter is signed by 40 members of the House of Delegates and 10 senators, making up a bit less than half of the republican majority members in the two bodies. Trump endorsements in the letter include Senate Finance Chair Eric Tarr, R-Putnam, Senate Education Chair Amy Grady, R-Mason, and House Majority Leader Eric Householder, R-Berkeley.

Notably absent from the letter’s list are Speaker of the House Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay and Senate President Craig Blair, R-Berkeley.

The letter and endorsement effort was written and organized by Del. Josh Holstein, R-Boone. Holstein said he received a  communication from the Trump campaign about doing something from West Virginia that was supportive of the former president’s run for reelection.

“I said I’d like to do some legislative endorsements,” Holstein said. “I think we could get a significant number. So I started calling around. It’s a very mixed group. There’s a lot of leadership. There’s a lot of people from different areas of the state.”

Holstein thinks the impact of the letter shows a strong support for the former president. He said it’s a channeling of what most constituents already feel. Trump was the overwhelming West Virginia winner in both the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections.

“Our constituents are very supportive of him and his agenda,” Holstein said. “I just think that this reinforces that we answer to them, and we speak for them. I think this is one of the ways that we can do that appropriately.”

Holstein said the election and campaign cycle never really stops anymore, and putting out this letter, months ahead of a crowded republican presidential primary, becomes part of ‘the smooth flow of information.’”

“It’s important for candidates to get out early and get their feet in the water,” Holstein said. “I think that’s the reason we’re seeing so many presidential candidates, including the former president jump in so early, and that’s the reason we wanted to make a statement, as well.”

Del. Josh Holstein, R-Boone.

Credit: West Virginia Legislature

The West Virginia primary will be held on May 14, 2024.