Gubernatorial candidate Stephen Smith visits Fayette County

LOOKOUT, WV (WOAY) – Stephen Smith is on the democratic ticket to become the next governor of West Virginia. He is currently on his fourth tour of the state and stopped for a town hall at the old Nuttall School gym in Lookout.

“This is our 170th town hall across the state and we think if we want a government of, by and for the people, we have to have a campaign that actually listens to people,” Smith said.

And that is what Saturday’s town hall was all about, listening to the people and sharing his own ideas about what Smith thinks makes his campaign unique. 

“We’re the only campaign that doesn’t take corporate PAC money, the only campaign with a union staff, the only campaign that not only broke but doubled the previous record of small dollar donations. This campaign is owned by the people of this state and that means coming to places like this,” he said. 

It was an interactive town hall as he brought volunteers up to play the roles of politicians, out-of-state property owners and West Virginia voters as he demonstrated how the higher-ups are taking away seats from the people.

Those in the audience raised concerns about the opioid epidemic, the decline in the coal industry and people leaving the state at a rapid pace.

Smith responded by talking platform saying he wants to put price caps on medicine and health insurance offering both public and private options.

Smith also supports putting in a wealth tax and a Workers Bill of Rights, reversing Right-to -Work. 

“What we’re doing is taking the wealth that’s been stolen from us over the last generations and putting it back in the hands of the people who actually create it,” he said. “That’s true of property taxes, individual taxes, roads and schools. You can see all of it online in black and white.” 

But Smith says he hasn’t just created a platform, but a movement that says “West Virginia Can’t Wait.”

“There are 89 of us who have signed on to run campaigns that don’t take corporate cash and never cross a picket line and more important than that, we’ve got literally thousands of volunteers knocking on door and getting involved in their communities across the state,” Smith said. “Again, if we want a government that belongs to us, we’ve got to fight back and take it.”

Smith finished up the day in Raleigh County and plans to head to Summers County on Sunday.

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Anna Saunders
Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.