New Dem Chair Pushkin says it will take hard work to rebuild party

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — New West Virginia Democratic Party Chairman Del. Mike Pushkin says his chairmanship will be characterized by hard work.

Mike Pushkin

Pushkin, who is 52 and represents a portion of Charleston in the state legislature, won election as chairman back on Saturday at a meeting of the Democrat Party’s state executive committee. He said during an appearance Tuesday on MetroNews “Talkline” he said building a party is more about hard work than ideology.

“It’s about work ethic and we’re going to have people who want to show up and work and get that message out that we are the real party of West Virginia values,” Pushkin said.

He takes over a party that holds no statewide offices with the exception of U.S. Senator Joe Manchin and is in the minority in both the House of Delegates and state Senate but Pushkin said he believes Democrats have a good shot to win some of the House’s single member district races in the fall election. He said every door in those districts where there are Democratic candidates will be knocked on promoting the party’s nominee.

“It’s all down ballot races in ’22 and we’re focused on helping our down ballot candidates and then we’re going to move on to municipal races in ’23,” Pushkin said.

He said building a party if also about building from from the municipal level up. Pushkin said those winners can then be part of a pipeline to larger offices.

Pushkin said the Democratic Party promotes real West Virginia values. He said the Republican majority hits hot button issues that are talked about on Fox News.

“We’re the ones up there fighting for real West Virginia values,” Pushkin said. “The problem is getting that message out. We haven’t done a great job getting that message out but now we’ve people signed up who are going to do a great job getting that message out.”

Pushkin also has a registration challenge. The most recent figures from the Secretary of State’s Office show there are now 442,476 registered Republicans and 383,461 registered Democrats in the Mountain State. The Democratic Party in West Virginia had more than 552,000 members five years ago.

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