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West Virginia Democratic Party

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The West Virginia Democratic Party is the affiliate of the Democratic Party in the state of West Virginia.


The state of West Virginia granted itself statehood after its people, through a state constitutional convention, became a free state and broke away from the slave holding state of Virginia in 1861 during the first year of the Civil War. Article IV of the U.S. Constitution requires consent of the newly formed state, the original state, and Congress. Since the Virginian government was ruled illegitimate as it was a member of the Confederate States of America, no approval was required and after Congressional consent, self-statehood was gained and political party formation prospered.[1]

The West Virginia Democratic Party was started as a coalition of conservative Pro-Union Democrats, Pro-Confederate Democrats, and former members of the Whig Party. After 1872, its political dominance flourished when restrictions that disenfranchised former Confederates were struck from the state constitution.[2]

West Virginia Democrats in government

The West Virginia Democratic Party controls only one statewide executive office, the state treasurer, and holds minorities in both the West Virginia House of Delegates and the West Virginia Senate. Democrats hold one of the state's two U.S. Senate seats and none of the state's three U.S. House seats. Incumbent governor Jim Justice was elected as a Democrat in the 2016 election, however switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party in August 2017, seven months after taking office.


Democratic electorate

Democratic and Republican parties have dominated the American political scene for close to two centuries. One party often overpowers the other and controls the government as a whole. In these times of dominance, the party in power holds a majority of seats at national and state levels and commands the loyalty of the electorate for an extended period of time. In West Virginia, the Republican/ Union supporting party held political power from 1863 to 1872. The Democrats took power in the 1872 elections and held it until 1896. Republicans once again had control in 1872 until 1932. During the Great Depression, The Democratic Party began its dominance that lasted until 2014.

Democratic dominance in West Virginia in the 1900s

From 1930 to 2014, Democrats held majorities in both chambers of the West Virginia Legislature.[3]

Today's party organization

The party organization is governed by the West Virginia State Democratic Executive Committee. This committee comprises its leadership. The chairman is Belinda Biafore, the vice chairman is Rod Snyder former National Young Democrats President, and Curt Zickafoose serves as the executive director.[4]


  1. ^ west Virginia Statehood Archived 2007-03-07 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Robert Rupp (November 22, 2016). "Democratic Party". The West Virginia Encyclopedia.
  3. ^ Brisbin, Richard. West Virginia Politics and Government. University of Nebraska Press, 1996. p. 35 para 1.
  4. ^ "WVSDEC Leadership". West Virginia Democratic Party.

External links

This page was last edited on 2 December 2020, at 20:53
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