Republicans in West Virginia think Wyoming County and the southern coalfields are fertile soil for their party.
Conrad Lucas, the state’s Republican party chair, was in Pineville last Friday night to organize a committee.
Lucas said the GOP wants to move into counties that are not traditionally Republican territory.
He pointed to the 2012 presidential election, where Wyoming County and its neighbors voted by wide margins for Mitt Romney.
Lucas also pointed to a recent poll which showed Republican Evan Jenkins leading Democratic incumbent Nick Rahall in the Third District Congressional race.
“We feel confident we can flip the House (of Delegates) for the first time since 1928,” Lucas remarked. “And if we don’t take control of the Senate, we’ll be awfully close.”
He said the party wasn’t going to write off southern West Virginia any more.
Republicans “haven’t been organized in a long time,” Lucas stated. He pointed out that the party had rarely run a full slate of candidates in past elections.
“We want to out work (Democrats),” he remarked.
“We’re trying to build the infrastrucutre,” Lucas added.
Wyoming was the only county in the state with no Republican committee, he explained.
He said the party wants to do voter registration drives. “Where we’re lacking is in the coalfields,” Lucas stated.
He pointed out that convicted felon Keith Judd got 41 percent of the vote in the 2012 Democratic primary against President Barack Obama.
County Circuit Clerk David “Bugs” Stover, who became the first Republican in decades to win a county office a few years ago, introduced Lucas and discussed the history of the Republican party.
John Conley can be reached at 304-732-6060 or on Twitter @PIHnews.