Why this candidate for West Virginia governor isn't even the focal point of his own campaign
Stephen Smith was already running an unconventional campaign for governor of West Virginia. It's opponent fide of the people effort under the banner. West Virginia can't wait the campaign. Its Policy Proposals and budget have been discussed and written by the people. In fact. Smith isn't even the focal point of his own race for governor. Even Corona virus has an upended the campaign Smith says the pandemic has only enhanced their message. But will it work? If Smith who has to win the Democratic nomination in June defeats the incumbent Republican in November Smith. Thinks so hear him explain. Why Right now Stephen Smith thank you very much for coming on the podcast? Thank you so to be here so I've been watching your campaign now for a while since October when we met through our mutual friend justice guests and he wanted me to meet you because he was saying this. Guy Steven he is running a different kind of campaign. And you laid it out to me at that dinner. Talk about the kind of campaign. You're running so our campaign starts with a simple light. Yeah we actually don't think that one governor is the problems we actually believed that never in America district Sunni Non West. Virginia history has a politician in the answer politician League wars years ago or the teachers strike two years ago that we exchanged from the bottom up. So that's how we built our campaign starting Almost three years ago we having conversations with folks all across the state saying what would it look like? What would it take to run a campaign where the ended it just win one office but we won something closer to a people's Government in West Virginia? And that's what we're doing now a a people's government talk more about how this campaign is working because it it's not just hey on Seba Smith running for Governor and you've got volunteers around the state who are running around and getting people to vote for you. It's a little bit more involved in that right. They were to show people that were doing something different. We have to do it with our actions. Not just our word so the first thing I did was build county volunteer teams in all five counts tourist state so in every county. There's a West Virginia can't wait. Volunteer team is not Jefferson County for Stephen Smith Jefferson. County can't wait then. We realized that some people are gonNA come into politics based not from where they live but from their identity as a coal miner or color Muslim are students or social worker so we will thirty nine constituencies teams veterans can't waste seniors can't rate so last piece of the puzzle was New Year more than why can't and five fifteen or twenty people to run the same kind of kept a race that you're so look for people would say no pack money promised Across the picket line promises Behind from a debate never hunch down and again we thought fifteen twenty twenty five people that would be a revolution West Virginia here. We are eighteen months later. There are ninety four of us running together up down and importantly we're running all different kinds of offices and council to Congress and Senate and everything in between we also represent the people of West Virginia in a way that is far different adverse truer than the current I'm ninety four. Candidates are disproportionately black. Disproportionately women disproportionately veterans disproportionately educators. Came directly from the Teachers Strike Movement. Were disproportionately waiting members. The LG Clusky unity and together. We represent something more like what are states. And that's what wrath of these people I mean. You're you're running in. The Democratic Party are all the people who are running in all of these positions. The all these elected hopefully elected physicians. Are they also all democrats from the beginning of this campaign? We've announced strategic read but also morally. We had a duty to build the people's government not just based on the people only go Democrat. Which is a fairly small group of people in West Virginia? We defeat curious about inviting independence. I needed people who voted for the president. Met doesn't mean compromise our values on the contrary. What it means is looking. For the biggest boldest issues that could get and that's what we found in this campaign that on issue after issue there was a democratic position that you could find the state capital a Republicans Find the State Capitol and then it was a bit consensus. Common Sense. Position wasn't being argued by corporate arms of the Democratic or Party. And that's where we find our strength and that's why we broken Joe Mansions Record for the most. Donations ever in governor's race in West Virginia history because you're appealing to literally accountable to a wide range of people from all different parts of the state walks threatening.