Ashton Marra Published

It's a Race to the Finish Line in W.Va. as Election Day Approaches


With just days left in the 2016 election cycle, more than 140,000 West Virginians have already cast their ballots, but the candidates at all levels are still working to get your vote.

At the presidential level, polling not just in West Virginia, but throughout the Ohio Valley region, shows billionaire Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump enjoys strong support from the region’s white, working class — an often overlooked group of voters.

This angry election season has caused many writers to focus on the deep discontent among white workers. Ohio Valley ReSource’s Jeff Young spoke with three authors about why the white working class has such a dark outlook on the country’s future.

The same region is ground zero for the opioid epidemic, with some of the nation’s highest addiction and overdose rates. Ohio Valley ReSource’s Aaron Payne reports on how the results of two key races could shape how West Virginia addresses the crisis.


Credit Tyler Evert / AP Photo
AP Photo
Jim Justice, left, and Bill Cole, right, shake hands after their first gubernatorial debate.

There are five candidates in the race to be the next leader of the state of West Virginia. Charlotte Pritt of the Mountain Party, Libertarian David Moran and Constitution Party candidate Phil Hudok represent the state’s third parties. Leading the race though, are Republican Bill Cole and Democrat Jim Justice. We profile the candidates and their campaigns.

This year’s race for Agriculture Commissioner is a rematch of 2012 when Republican Kent Leonhardt took on Democrat Walt Helmick. Clark Davis reports the two major party candidates still see the Commissioner of Agriculture as someone who can diversify the state’s economy, but have differing opinions about what that diversification looks like.