Election 2020: A Breakdown Of The West Virginia Governor's Race


On this West Virginia Morning, our election coverage continues in the West Virginia Governor’s office where the power of incumbency cannot be ignored. Especially in 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic offers a continual stage and widespread, free exposure to the electorate. Also, in this show, we hear about efforts to spur new journalism in areas of Appalachia where newspapers closed in recent years.

With rumors swirling during the summer of 2019 over a possible bid to return home to again run for governor, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin decided against trying to leave Washington. But despite that decision, Manchin has still drifted into the race between Republican incumbent Jim Justice and Democratic challenger Ben Salango.

Senior reporter Dave Mistich looks at the race between Justice and Salango, why Manchin has remained a central figure in the race for the governor’s mansion and what that means in an almost entirely “red” West Virginia.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Americans are paying more attention to news about their local communities. But since 2014, at least 88 newspapers in Appalachia have closed, leaving tens of thousands of Appalachians without anyone telling their communities’ stories. Sydney Boles reports on a handful of new ventures in journalism that are working to change that.

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Support for our news bureaus comes from West Virginia University, Concord University, and Shepherd University.

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