Women W.Va. Voters Trust Can Get Elected
Female voters have been a major force in politics for many years. By some estimates, 53% of the votes for Joe Biden came from women.
But what about real power? A century after women’s suffrage was adopted, what about running the show instead of merely picking the men who do so?
In 2016, Hillary Clinton almost became our president — and received more popular votes than Donald Trump.
It appears our next vice president will be Kamala Harris.
What about here in West Virginia?
Given the fact that in 2016, Clinton did worse in West Virginia than in any other state, it’s reasonable to assume that her comment, “certainly misogyny played a role” in her loss was directed at least partially at us.
So, are we?
n Last Tuesday, there were a total of eight Democrat and Republican candidates for the four U.S. Senate and House of Representatives seats from West Virginia. Six of them are women. Two of the four winners — incumbent Sen. Shelley Moore Capito and incumbent Third District U.S. Rep. Carol Miller — are women.
Remember, you don’t even get on the ballot without winning a primary election.
n In fact, it appears that only eight states have higher percentages of women in their congressional delegations. Capito and Miller are 40% of ours. Only three states, Nevada, New Hampshire and Washington, have more than 50% women in their Senate and House delegations.
n We’ve trusted women to defend us in Washington for quite some time. From 1951-65, one of our U.S. representatives was Elizabeth Kee.
n What about down the ladder to the state Legislature? In terms of male/female parity, we certainly have a ways to go there. Just three of the 34 state senators are women. Only 16 of the 100 House of Delegates members are female.
n But we in the Northern Panhandle are leaders. Two of the female delegates are ours. They are Del. Erikka Storch, R-Ohio County, and Del. Lisa Zukoff, D-Marshall County. Our record is topped only by Fayette County, where both delegates are women (Republican Kayla Kessinger and Democrat Margaret Staggers).
n What about the parties? Don’t Democrats elect women far more frequently than do Republicans? Nope. Half of the 16 female delegates are GOP members. All three of the state Senate women are Republicans.
n Our delegate, Wheeling’s Erikka Storch, has become powerful in two important ways.
First, she’s virtually unbeatable. Last Tuesday, she won re-election by taking one of two Third District delegate slots on the ballot. She received 11,340 votes, according to unofficial returns. The next highest total, for incumbent Del. Shawn Fluharty, D-Ohio County, was 8,840. Storch led by a nice, even 2,500 votes.
That isn’t unusual for Storch. In the last five elections, counting this one, her average lead over her nearest competitor has been 2,660 votes.
What about Charleston? How does Storch do in the House of Delegates Good Old Boys Club? Very well. Of 20 committees in the House, Storch chairs two of them (Political Subdivisions and Interstate Cooperation).
Hillary Clinton — and lots of other people who don’t know us — are wrong about West Virginia. Women we trust can and do get elected here. I suppose that says something about Clinton …
Myer can be reached at: email@example.com.