Although West Virginia has been predominately blue, Republicans are hoping to paint the state and country red to achieve a goal. Disgusted with leadership in Washington, D.C., the message Wednesday from members of the GOP is for voters to head to the polls on Nov. 2 so that they can wake up on Nov. 3 and have fired U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Incumbent U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-2nd District, told the crowd of supporters at the Elkins Railroad Depot that the "stakes are high" in the upcoming election and votes aren't only about being a Republican, but also being concerned independents and Democrats. Throughout the day Wednesday, the "Fire Pelosi and Reid Bus Tour" through the Eastern Panhandle garnered "great crowds" and the enthusiasm for change in leadership continues to increase, Capito said.
"People seem to understand the message," she commented.
GOP PUSHES FOR CHANGE — U.S. Rep. Shelly Moore Capito, R-2nd District, greets constituents during the “Fire Pelosi and Reid Bus Tour’s” stop in Elkins Wednesday. Capito was one of several Republicans who spoke to the crowd gathered at the Elkins Railroad Depot. Candidates from across the region garnered support for the election that is little more than 10 days away. Also hoping to rally votes for his party, West Virginia Republican Party Chairman Mike Stuart spoke about the local, state and national candidates on the Republican ticket. (CU and The Inter-Mountain/Grant Jones)
Congress has failed to cut money from the national budget and "when we fire Nancy Pelosi, that's the first thing we're going to do," Capito said.
West Virginia Republican Party Chairman Mike Stuart said the support for the "Fire Pelosi and Reid Bus Tour" has been "exciting stuff" and thinks people understand the importance of the Nov. 2 election.
The bus was delayed on its arrival in Elkins, in part because of the "stimulus project" on Shavers Mountain that's adding a second east-bound lane to relieve traffic bottlenecks. Stuart told the group that additional stimulus funding went to support projects that included the Charleston Ballet and that while they are "nobel projects," private dollars should be funding them and additional benefits to seniors should instead be offered.
"This is a crazy time," Stuart said.
He encouraged voters to send West Virginia's Republican U.S. House of Representatives candidates David McKinley, 1st District, and Spike Maynard, 3rd District, to "Washington with Shelley."
Stuart added that by electing Republican John Raese to the U.S. Senate, he will be able to stop legislation in the filibuster-proof body before those who loose their seats leave office in January.
Republican John Yoder, who is seeking election to the West Virginia Supreme Court, has not placed his party affiliation on his signs, Stuart said. He added that the state's Supreme Court justices should be elected from a non-partisan ballot.
West Virginia Senate candidate for the 15th District, Jeremy Bauserman, also a Republican, said his Democratic and incumbent opponent Walt Helmick shares similar views to that of Obama and other national Democrats. Stuart added that West Virginians are concerned about what's going on within the Washington Beltway, but should not take their "eyes off the Charleston Beltway."
Joan Hinzman Sharp, Republican candidate for the House of Delegates 37th District, told the audience her biggest concern is the job market and thinks the best way to bring employment is to decrease taxes on business.
Republican Debbie Stevens, seeking election to the 46th District House of Delegates, said that during a previous term in the House of Delegates, she supported conservative issues and encouraged voters to research her record.
Elkins resident Mary Ann Flynn said she was happy to greet people running for office and offer her support.
"Everything's stale and stagnant and we need a change," Flynn said. "I think it's a good thing."
Before the bus arrived, members of the West Virginia Patriots, described by Mike House, a Randolph County Republican Executive Committee member, as "sort of the Randolph County Tea Party," rallied members by talking about how policies in Washington aren't working.
The bus tour continues through Saturday with various stops around the state.