Randy Yohe Published

What's Next For Republicans And Democrats In The Legislature?


Republicans bolstered their supermajority on election night but Democrats say they will continue to work for policies that help people.

Senate President Craig Blair, R-Morgan, said he’s buoyed by a 30 to 4 Republican supermajority (what he now calls a super-super majority) in the senate, but he also said that comes with a caveat.

We’re really good at getting our candidates across the finish line,” Blair said. “But we got some learning to do on how to get amendments done.”

All four proposed amendments to the state constitution failed Tuesday night. Blair said, following the failure of Amendment 2 which would have given the legislature the ability to change or delete property taxes, the legislature needs to continue promoting a drug-free, educated workforce and do a better job educating voters on state revenues. But he said it will be tough to bury the political hatchet with Gov. Jim Justice who opposed Amendment 2.

“I find it off-putting that we’ve been called ‘the swamp’ and we’ve basically been called ‘mired in debt,’” Blair said. “We were called corrupt and that’s not true.”

Re-elected, Del. Mike Pushkin, D-Kanawha, said, as state Democratic party chair, he’ll continue a non-partisan push for policies to help West Virginians.

He did see an election night bright spot in voters defeating all four amendments.

They still have a very healthy mistrust of Republican policy,” Pushkin said. “They did not want the Republican legislature in control of county budgets. They didn’t want the Republican legislature in control of our public education.”

Pushkin says any compromise in tax reform moving forward needs to be citizen-centric.

“It must be about giving tax relief to the people who really really need it,” Pushkin said. “Not just to the wealthiest West Virginians or to out of state corporations.”

Election results become official when certified by county clerks next week.