Manchin endorses Salango for West Virginia governor

Senator Joe Manchin (D)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin has endorsed Democrat Ben Salango for governor of West Virginia, the candidate said Tuesday.

“Ben is the one candidate who can win in November and meet head-on the great challenges we face in our state,” Manchin, a Democrat, said in a news release.

Salango, an attorney and Kanawha County commissioner, has netted endorsements from the state’s AFL-CIO chapter, former West Virginia governor Gaston Caperton and the Professional Firefighters of West Virginia.

He is set to face off for the Democratic nomination later this year against a slate of candidates that includes state Sen. Ron Stollings, progressive Stephen Smith and others.

Republican Gov. Jim Justice is seeking reelection on the GOP side. He is facing primary opposition from businessman and former state commerce secretary Woody Thrasher, former state lawmaker Mike Folk and others.

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Kassie Simmons
Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at