2022 Call For Candidates

The Mountain Party is recruiting qualified candidates to run for elected office across West Virginia. Many seats are up for election in 2022. While much of the conversation is largely placed on the State Legislature, we are paying special attention to local races such as Board of Education and Conservation District Supervisor. Winning local level races is the foundation for the Mountain Party to achieve bigger wins in the future.

We are seeking candidates with the desire to run a successful campaign and engage voters. Experience in public speaking, administration and planning, along with a comprehensive understanding of financial reports and budgets, is very highly recommended. Potential candidates must share the values outlined in the Mountain Party platform of Democracy, Social Justice, Environmental Justice, and Economic Justice.

We are especially interested in candidates who are members of under-represented groups, as there is strength in diversity. It takes everyone of us to advocate for better public policy and a brighter future.

Candidates who start early on their campaigns have a better chance of success, making it essential that you get started right away. Filing deadlines are fast approaching; candidates to be placed on the primary ballot must file by January 29th.

Across the state, candidates will challenge establishment incumbents and corporate opposition. The Mountain Party candidates we seek will stand with the people in opposition to the expansion of corporate power and control. They will reach out to voters of different backgrounds and forge together coalitions aiming to improve the quality of life for everyone in their community.

Mountain Party officeholders are actively working to protect our environment, in opposition to toxic fracking and pipelines.

The Mountain Party has a powerful vision for a better West Virginia, but we cannot realize that vision without you.

We urge you to join us in this important effort and become a Mountain Party candidate for office today. We need your skills, energy and passion for making the world a cleaner, kinder and more sustainable place for all of us to work, live and thrive.

All candidates are expected to understand the terms of official recognition, which includes agreeing to and signing the Mountain Party’s candidate pledge.

Interested potential candidates can contact the Mountain Party at contact@mountainpartywv.net and (304) 669-0247.



Rest In Peace: Frank Young

Environmental Justice activist and Vice Chair of the Mountain Party Frank Young passed away yesterday on December 2, 2021.

“Frank was a friend and mentor. His commitment to the environment and progressive politics will not be forgotten. He will be sorely missed,” said Denise Binion, Mountain Party Chair.

Frank Young was born at Tuppers Creek in Kanawha County and was a graduate of West Virginia State University in the 1960s. For 23 years, he owned the Red Barn Tire and Wrecker Service near Ripley, West Virginia where he resided for the remainder of his life. 

Frank dedicated many decades of his life to environmental causes and initiatives. He was instrumental in establishing recycling in Jackson County, where he was a Recycling Program Manager of the solid waste authority for 27 years. 

Frank has been an integral part of the Mountain Party since its founding two decades ago. He served as chair from 2008-2012, in addition to serving on the party’s Environmental Justice Committee, Finance Committee and Platform Committee. His most recent role was Vice Chairman. Frank represented the Mountain Party as a delegate to the Green National Committee (GNC) and had previously served on the Green Party of the United States’ Finance Committee.

Frank provided a wealth of knowledge about and historical perspective on West Virginia politics, election law, finance and environmental issues. Alongside his work with the Mountain Party, Frank was a board member of both the WV Highlands Conservancy and the WV Environmental Council.

Frank was a member of the Unitarian/Universalist community in the Charleston area. He is survived by his wife Rebecca of over 54 years and their three children, eight grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter. He is also survived by five siblings.



Mountain Party Statement on OVEC Dissolution

The Mountain Party of West Virginia is devastated to learn of the dissolution of the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition (OVEC) by its Board, which occurred as a response to OVEC staff’s successful attempt to unionize with the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). “This decision is extremely disappointing, both in view of the ongoing environmental degradation of West Virginia’s air and water as well as the blatant disregard for workers’ rights,” said Mountain Party chair Denise Binion. 

From its inception, the Mountain Party has supported environmental rights as well as the right of all workers to organize their workplaces. Environmental and labor rights are integral to the party’s vision for an Eco-Socialist Green New Deal and the OVEC Union’s fight for improved working conditions within the environmental movement is beyond commendable. “All members of the OVEC Union are already working tirelessly to find avenues to continue the work and rebuild in the void left by this institution and the selfish people who decided to kill it instead of allowing it to change,” the OVEC Union said in a statement released on their social media. 

In contrast to OVEC, the Board of Directors for Coal River Mountain Watch — another environmental organization based in West Virginia — voluntarily and proudly recognized their staff’s union in September, also organized with the IWW. The staff of the Green Party of the United States, the national affiliate of the Mountain Party, is also organized with the IWW. The Mountain Party believes all workers have the right to organize and unionize as a pathway towards democratic control of their workplaces, and recognizes that labor rights are inextricably linked to the achievement of environmental justice. We look forward to the future projects of the members of the OVEC Union and stand in unequivocal solidarity with all efforts of workers to unionize, especially within supposed progressive organizations.



Mountain Party Supports Mobilization To Defend Reproductive Rights

CHARLESTON, WV – The West Virginia Mountain Party joins the progressive coalition of organizations for the defense of reproductive rights. In coordination with the Women’s March, rallies will be held this Saturday across the United States to protest the abortion ban in Texas and to stand in solidarity with women in their struggle for liberation.

Rallies Throughout West Virginia for this Saturday October 2nd:

  • Charleston – Back of the State Capitol, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. E, at 3:30 pm
  • Elkins – Randolph County Courthouse at Noon
  • Lewisburg – Virtual, Zoom Link, Meeting ID: 863 8985 2439 Passcode: 732690
  • Martinsburg – Sidewalk of 301 N Queen Street at 10:00 am
  • Morgantown – Monongalia County Courthouse, 243 High Street, at 10:00 am
  • Wheeling – Heritage Port & Veterans Memorial Amphitheater, 1201 Water Street, at Noon

To See Events In Neighboring States Visit: map.womensmarch.com

We will continue to stand on the side of personal privacy and a woman’s right to control her own reproductive functions without interference from private citizens and government.


See Also: West Virginia Mountain Party Opposes Threats Against Women’s Liberty, Privacy, and Reproductive Rights


The Case for an Independent Left Party in West Virginia – The West Virginia Holler

By: Dylan Parsons & Robert Smith | West Virginia Holler Link

Recent events in West Virginia have left progressives wondering where their political home is. With an independent ballot line, the Mountain Party is West Virginia’s only progressive party for working people. The Mountain Party runs candidates outside of the major party framework, without taking any money from corporate donors. West Virginia has an opportunity, with the Mountain Party as its vehicle, to build a political alternative here to stay and into the future.

In the 1990s, the West Virginia Democratic Party (WVDP) continued to maintain a supermajority in the State Legislature which it had held consecutively since the 1950s. In 1996, then-State Senator Joe Manchin lost to progressive State Senator Charlotte Pritt in the Democratic primary for Governor. Humiliated, the developing Manchin machine, joined by establishment Democrats reluctant to explicitly support Pritt, threw their support behind the Republican nominee and fueled the formation of Democrats for Underwood clubs all across the state. This effort resulted in a spoiled Republican victory, in a year where Democrats otherwise swept the Mountain State at the polls. Manchin would ultimately become Secretary State, Governor, and presently U.S. Senator for West Virginia, where his pursuit of power encouraged Democrats to concede popular progressive positions and adopt conservative positions.

Foreseeing the train-wreck decline ahead for the conservative Democrats, ordinary citizens decided to create the Mountain Party in 2000. Sure enough in 2014, the Democrats simultaneously lost the State House and State Senate, after being in consecutive control of the majority for over 80 years. In 2016, the Mountain Party set a record for a minor party campaign for Governor, and has since consistently maintained local officeholders and increased electoral performance records for other partisan offices. In 2020, the Democrats had their worst electoral defeat in West Virginia’s history. Meanwhile the Mountain Party, starting in 2018, has conducted a series of internal reforms to rebrand, rebuild, and professionalize the party.

In 2021, following a series of undemocratic and racist actions by the WVDP state executive committee, many former Democrats became disillusioned with the party and sought alternatives. Many voters — including folks such as former Democratic nominee for Congress Sue Thorn — have joined the Mountain Party.

Some progressives, however, are still on the fence, unsure which path they should take: Reform the Democratic Party? Exit and go independent? Join another party? Or abandon electoral politics altogether? The only path forward for progressives in West Virginia is to build a truly independent working class movement, and only one party in the Mountain State is doing just that.


Many progressives, inspired by Senator Bernie Sanders’ campaigns of 2016 and 2020, have advocated for working within the Democratic Party. At an undetermined time in the future, they plan to take the party over from its corporate owners and reform it into a working class party. This reformist, inside-out strategy is nothing new and has never worked.

In the same way you cannot reform capitalism to serve workers, you cannot reform a capitalist party to serve the working class. Operating within a capitalist party means playing by their rules, pledging loyalty to the party. Ultimately, choosing to stay with the Democrats requires accepting its corporate nominees and disavowing all other options. This was observed during both of Bernie Sanders’ campaigns when he lamentably endorsed Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, respectively, and even went so far as to defend them from progressive critiques. Given Sanders’ position, this was not shocking. However, it demonstrates the limitations of progressives— even independent ones— working from within the two-party system. Repeated with predictable certainty, working class candidates attempt to reform the Democrats, but instead the party reforms them.

Many progressive candidates, however, find it increasingly difficult to get elected when they run with the WVDP. The Democrats do not just ignore progressive campaigns, but actively sabotage them. The Democrats are an obstacle to progress — even if it means electing Republicans at the expense of their own left-leaning candidates.

Recently in neighboring Ohio, the Democrat establishment in collusion with corporate and right-wing interests such as Democratic Majority for Israel, flooded the congressional special election with millions in dark money to crush Nina Turner’s campaign. 

Political parties are supposed to represent a group’s ideals and values. In practice, a voter should be able to deduce where a candidate stands on important issues just by looking at their listed party. When it comes to the Democrats on the ballot, this is increasingly difficult to decipher; it is often unclear whether the candidate is a working class progressive or a right-wing corporatist. This is even more ambiguous with the WVDP being among the most conservative and reactionary Democrat state affiliates in the country.

As mentioned, the state executive committee of the WVDP recently has come under fire over allegations of racism, bullying, and intimidation. WVDP chair Belinda Biafore has overseen the party’s sharpest decline in elected officers and party registration in history. Despite this incredible failure, Biafore has refused to resign over the charges of racism and incompetence, even with calls by several of the party’s own county committees.

Both major parties are so conservative that many politicians have felt comfortable switching back and forth between the two parties; this includes Delegates Jason Barrett and Mick Bates, Governor Jim Justice, and former U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins. The label of “Democrat” in West Virginia is virtually meaningless. Even progressives are lumped together in association with Joe Manchin; this directly damages the reputation of the most well intentioned Democrats. In contrast, the label of “Mountain Party” immediately invokes progressive ideals and working class politics.


Registering as a “No Party Affiliation” voter may make sense for those uncommitted to a particular strategy. However, for those who believe in a united strategy for the progressive movement, registering with no party affiliation atomizes the voter (or candidate) and isolates them from the movement. The campaigns of Independent candidates focus on what the candidate can do if they are elected — which is often very little without a party and base to support them. Independent progressive legislative candidates, once elected, are generally forced to caucus with a party. With no progressive party with which to affiliate themselves, these unaffiliated legislators inevitably caucus with the Democrats and lose all independence with which they once had. Even a small Green caucus led by the Mountain Party could have tremendous influence, especially if neither major party has an outright majority.

The most common justification for voters to register without a party is that they are permitted to participate in any party’s primary. For those wanting to build an independent progressive movement, however, this still distances them from that movement and provides a pathway back into mainstream Democratic Party politics. By registering with the Mountain Party, the voter dedicates themself to progressive ideals and rejects the conservatism of the other three recognized parties. The greater participation there is in the Mountain Party, the more competitive and fruitful the elections become.


While there are other organizations who endorse candidates or who may attempt to obtain ballot access, the Mountain Party is the only ballot-qualified progressive party in West Virginia, and has elected people to office. The strategies it utilizes are also different from other organizations. For instance, the Working Families Party — despite calling itself a party — does not have ballot access and does not run its own candidates. Rather, Working Families endorses other parties’ candidates, typically Democrats. By contrast, the Mountain Party is completely independent of the two major parties.

In states where Working Families has had ballot access in the past, they utilize fusion voting by co-nominating the Democratic nominee rather than run their own candidates, and typically do not support nominees from other progressive parties. Despite ostensibly existing to pressure the Democrat Party to adopt progressive positions, in 2018 the New York Working Families Party had opted to support incumbent congressman Joe Crowley, an establishment centrist, over Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Currently, there is an attempt to form the “People’s Party,” a nonprofit organization better known as Movement for a People’s Party (MPP). Their ultimate goal allegedly is to become a recognized political party in West Virginia. Its unelected state director claims the purpose of forming this new party is to give the voters of West Virginia a progressive choice on the ballot. While this is an honorable goal in principle, the effect this unfortunately has is to mislead voters into believing that there is not already a progressive party on the ballot. This is counterproductive, unless it is the strategy of the MPP to splinter the already small movement that they claim to be building. Rather than starting from scratch and attempting to reinvent the wheel by forming another electoral party, it is best for progressives to work together to build a united progressive party, one that already has ballot access.

Furthermore, unlike MPP, the Mountain Party — and it’s national affiliate the Green Party — elects its party officers and organizers from the grassroots level. The MPP, by contrast, is run nationally as a 501(c)(4) non-profit by an unelected “Advisory Council” composed mostly of celebrities and controversial influencers such as Jimmy Dore, with a tendency to attack other progressives. In order to be a unified and successful movement, progressives must utilize bottom-up democracy rather than top-down bureaucracy. Movements must originate from —and be led by — the working class, not celebrities and social media personalities. The Mountain Party is the only progressive party utilizing this model in West Virginia.


There are other progressive organizations in West Virginia — such as DSA, WV Can’t Wait, the IWW, and more. While these organizations subscribe to different tactics, such as expediently settling to run with the Democrats or eschewing electoralism altogether, there are many Mountain Party members who find a shared value in these organizations and are therefore active dual members. The Mountain Party welcomes all progressive efforts genuinely striving to build real alternative political power for the working class, but stresses that such power must come from outside of the two-party system.


It is absolutely understandable that some progressives have given up all hope in the electoral process, opting instead to directly support other worthy endeavors like mutual aid and union organizing. The Mountain Party commends these undertakings as they are an indispensable part of the progressive movement.

To be clear, the Mountain Party endorses a variety of strategies to achieve working class power. While electoralism is not a strategy in which everyone agrees is the best use of their time, it is a critical path for a core contingent of progressives to pursue in order to grow and sustain a real working class movement.


The Mountain Party was founded 20 years ago by ordinary citizens as an alternative to the conservative WVDP. While the party has been successful in maintaining ballot access, electing local officeholders, and raising key issues (especially those of labor and the environment), it had serious imperfections; the unfortunate shortcomings of an inexperienced group of folks trying to challenge a seasoned political establishment was never going to work without a well-oiled political machine.

So the party took a hard look at itself in the mirror, and in 2020, it conducted a series of internal reforms to rebrand, rebuild, and professionalize itself. This is consistent with the growing pains found all throughout the Green Party, where state parties are formally parting ways with the center-left politics of Jill Stein and welcoming left, ecosocialist politics such as those laid out in the Mountain Party’s new platform. The differences could not be delineated further, away from the capitalist Democrat Party. The Mountain Party is building a grassroots movement, aiming to unite West Virginia’s working people against the capitalist controlled duopoly.


The Mountain Party offers the best electoral path forward for progressives in the Mountain State, if we coalesce with the full might of our resources to take on the two-party system from the ground up. Do not get it wrong; building alternative political power is difficult — especially when it relies on the resources of everyday working people, in contrast to the major parties fueled by corporate money and professional politicians.

We will start at the local level, securing city council seats, mayorships, and other local offices. We will build a foundation of support from these local offices in order to be competitive to take on the two-party system in races for county government, the state legislature, and state executive positions — including Governor. It will be an uphill battle, but it’s a battle that progressives can win if we stand united under one viable, independent party banner and dedicate ourselves to advancing the agenda of the working class.

Dylan Parsons is a State Executive Committee member of the Mountain Party. Robert Smith is the Mountain Party Communications Director. This written piece is the opinion of the authors only and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Mountain Party.



West Virginia Mountain Party Opposes Threats Against Women’s Liberty, Privacy, and Reproductive Rights

On September 1, 2021, Texas enacted the most oppressive reproductive rights law banning abortions after 6 weeks. This law includes provisions to force victims of rape and incest (regardless of age) to carry a resulting pregnancy to term. Possibly the worst provision allows private citizens to sue anyone who aids in access to or performance of an abortion. The plaintiff(s) can recover $10,000 for each suit won, in effect creating a bounty hunter system.

In response to the Lone Star State, nine West Virginia legislators are publicly discussing sponsoring similar legislation here. Some of these legislators, including several Democrats, were instrumental in passing Amendment 1 which states “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of abortion.”

In view of these threats against women’s privacy and reproductive rights, the West Virginia Mountain Party continues to stand on the side of personal privacy and a woman’s right to control her own reproductive functions without interference from private citizens and government. As with Amendment 1, we will oppose any effort to restrict these inherent rights.



Mountain Party Congratulates OVEC Union

The Mountain Party of West Virginia congratulates the OVEC Union workers on their overwhelming victory following their NLRB election.

The Mountain Party believes all workers have the right to organize and unionize as a pathway towards democratic control of their workplaces, and recognizes that labor rights are inextricably linked to the achievement of environmental justice as part of OVEC’s mission.

The Mountain Party looks forward to accomplish these goals alongside the organizers of OVEC and activists of other like-minded organizations.

Read Our Resolution: Support for OVEC Unionization



Rest In Power: J. Steve Hamilton

Social Justice activist and Mountain Party State Executive Committee member J. Steve Hamilton passed away yesterday on June 15, 2021. 

“Steve Hamilton was a valued member of the Mountain Party and a close friend,” said Denise Binion, Chair of the Mountain Party. “We worked together on various political issues for almost 20 years, first in North Central WV Democracy for America and then the Mountain Party. Steve was a kind soul who worked to change people’s lives for the better and equality for everyone. We were blessed to have him with us for as long as we did.”

Steve was born in Fairmont and was raised in the Clarksburg area, where he last resided. A graduate of Liberty High School and Fairmont State University in the 1980s, he was a life-long learner and had recently completed a graduate certificate from Grand Canyon University. Steve was a camping enthusiast who loved the natural beauty of West Virginia.

Steve dedicated part of his life in Cleveland working for a social service agency that was an arm of the Cleveland AFL-CIO. He was elected as a shop steward with the Office Professional Employees International Union serving on two negotiation committees. He soon became an organizer with Service Employees International Union (SEIU) District 1199. Following this he was hired as a contract organizer, where he held management accountable to adhere to the union contracts. He was the lead in several contract negotiations and represented over 1,300 workers.

When Steve returned to West Virginia, he was an avid volunteer for many groups and organizations including Celebrate Recovery, the Clarksburg Mission, Democracy for America, Get Equal WV, and the Harrison County Senior Center. Steve was both a member of the Mountain Party of West Virginia, a former Social Justice Committee Chair, and the Socialist Party USA. In addition, he was a 2020 candidate for the West Virginia House of Delegates. 

“Steve was a powerful leader who continuously organized people to create change,” said Sue Thorn, Secretary of the Mountain Party. “I’ll always remember him for his insights and enthusiasm!”

Steve was a Disciple of Christ who believed in Jesus’ instruction to love others. He attended both Centerbranch Church and Rushing Wind Biker Church. He was loved by his community and will be greatly missed.



Mountain Party welcomes all with open arms – Exponent Telegram

By: Denise Binion – Mountain Party Chair | Exponent Telegram Link

Recent events in the West Virginia Democratic Party (WVDP) have progressives wondering whether they belong in the two-party system.

Some believe they can change the Party from the inside. The crisis in the WVDP follows a declining trend in the party’s position.

The WVDP controlled state government for nearly a century, leaving W.Va. under corporate control and with some of the worst rankings in the country.

The Republicans, since taking power in 2014, have done nothing to improve our conditions. A system which uplifts corporate-sponsored candidates, marginalizes progressive candidates, and gives free rein to outside interests does nothing to solve our problems.

The working class of W.Va. desires a change in the status quo. But from where will that change come?

Instead of trying to fight our way into a party where progressive ideas are unwelcome, ignored, and even sabotaged, it is more logical to join and help build an existing, newly reformed party that shares our values.

The West Virginia Mountain Party, an affiliate of the Green Party, was founded on the very principles and policies that the WVDP continues to resist.

As a true working-class party, the Mountain Party upholds the principles of ecological wisdom, social justice, grassroots democracy, and nonviolence.

Our platform supports a Green New Deal and a just transition for displaced extraction workers, unionization and labor rights, an overhaul of our criminal justice system, and a government and economy centered around the working class of West Virginia rather than out-of-state corporations.

There will always be apologists for the two-party system who will be the Mountain Party’s harshest critics, defending a system greatly designed to prevent the development of alternative political power.

Regardless, the Mountain Party is ready to mount a real challenge to this failing system. The Mountain Party is the progressive alternative to the conservative Democratic Party.

Since the WVDP shuns and marginalizes its most progressive voices, the Mountain Party welcomes with open arms those looking for a true working people’s party.


See Also From Times West Virginian: “Mountain Party: the alternative to the two corporate parties”



By: Robert E. Smith – Mountain Party Communications Director

Montani Semper Liberi (Mountaineers are Always Free), at least that’s what we’re told. West Virginia Republicans led the crusade to pass HB 2933, legislation aimed to stifle free speech by penalizing businesses and public entities who boycott Israel in support of Palestinian human rights. Before the legislation was even adopted by the Governor, Israeli police had already raided the Temple Mount at the start of Ramadan and blocked access to the Damascus Gate where Muslims would typically worship. The escalation by Israel furthered tensions which fueled the present 2021 Israel-Palestine crisis. This tension culminated in the eviction of Palestinians from the occupied Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem, using flimsy legal arguments to ultimately violate International law.

Disappointingly but not surprisingly, only one Democrat Delegate opposed HB 2933, which was never drafted with the intention to combat discrimination. Replicated in over 30 U.S. states, the objective was always to squelch dissent and uphold Israel’s apartheid policies. The adopted legislation is unconstitutional, as it clearly violates the First Amendment, which includes boycott as a form of protected speech (NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co.).

In 2005, Palestinian civil society made the call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) with the purpose of:

  1. Ending the occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Apartheid Wall;
  2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of Palestinians to full equality; and
  3. Respecting, protecting, and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

BDS is affirmed in the platform of the Mountain Party and was affirmed by the Green Party of the United States the same year the call for BDS was issued. We Greens take no issue with the Jewish people and have twice nominated a Jewish candidate for President of the United States. The party has long stood against discrimination and ardently condemns anti-semitism and islamophobia. It is with a clear conscience that we stand in solidarity with Palestinians and Mountaineers engaging in BDS tactics, which demands peaceful opposition to the Israeli government’s apartheid policies.

HB 2933’s passage in the House with only one “Nay” vote and unanimous support in the Senate is a blatant reminder that the minority party, once again, fails to serve as effective opposition to assaults on constitutional freedoms and human rights. The members of the West Virginia legislature at the present time are -at best- tone deaf to the conditions facing oppressed peoples around the world, but most likely are woefully ignorant of geopolitics and International law.