CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – For the past 82 years, the United Mine Workers of America sponsored a labor rally and picnic at Slack Park in Racine, that hundreds attended along with many political candidates. But like many things, it’s is being held virtually this year due to COVID-19. Candidates are stumping online, or finding other unique ways to campaign.
“It’s great that we are continuing this labor rally here in Racine, although it is virtual. And I’ve been coming here since I was a small child with my dad and grandfather and it’s been part of my life,” said John Perdue, (D) WV State Treasurer, who is serving in his 24th year.
While the Labor Day rally leans strongly towards candidates in the Democratic Party, Republicans were also finding unique ways to campaign during COVID-19.
“We’re heading up to the Northern Panhandle on Labor Day. And we’re going to make the tour up there. We’re going to start in Hancock, Brooke, we’re going to get to Ohio, Marshall, Wetzell. We’re going to do the whole thing in the RV, and talk to all the different folks here in West Virginia,” said Riley Moore, (R) Nominee for WV State Treasurer, and a former member of the House of Delegates.
In a small state such as West Virginia, retail politics still matter, but the pandemic is just not conducive to door-to-door campaigning and handshaking.
“One thing will likely see a lot more of this year, campaign road signs. They don’t have to be socially distant, and if nothing else they can build a lot of name recognition for candidates,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.