GRAFTON—2020 gubernatorial candidate Stephen Smith packed a lot into his Saturday visit to Taylor County. Smith started at Espresso Yourself Coffee House, where he met with media and several citizens of all ages.
“He spent time talking to everyone that approached him, and not just a quick greeting. He asked almost everyone he met, ‘What would you do if you were Governor?’ and really listened to their answers,” said Tom Hart of Espresso Yourself Coffee House.
One of the questions that he was asked was “What political background do you have that will prepare you for being the governor of West Virginia.”
Smith answered by saying, “I think it depends on what you think politics is and what is should be. I have not served in a legislature, but I spent my whole career, about twenty years, fighting on the side of the poor and working people and getting people in communities and even at the state level to come together and actually change things. We think that’s what government should be.”
He expressed that some of his specific experience that he thinks is relevant is that he spent seven years running an organization that found a way for everyday people to actually make a difference in their own communities and to pass twenty-eight pieces of legislation at the state level.
Smith met some of the local teens of the community at Espresso Yourself who shared with him their concerns about the opioid epidemic, tobacco and vape use in the schools, as well as hunger.
Smith addressed all their concerns and handed out his card saying if there was anything he could do to help or anything else they wanted to talk about, to please contact him.
After spending hours talking to citizens at the coffee house, he went up the street and visited folks at the Taylor County Arts Council.
After a full day downtown, Smith led a town hall meeting at the Taylor County Senior Center. There he introduced himself to attendees, explained his platform and answered questions.
After visiting Taylor County, Smith continues his 55-county tour of West Virginia, presenting his grassroots campaign. The campaign which has the tagline: “WV Can’t Wait” is just one focus on his tour, and waiting is something Smith isn’t doing.
“Whether it was our teachers and school workers striking this spring, or the way neighbors pitched in during the flood, West Virginia works best when our people courageously band together, from the ground up,” Smith voiced. “That’s why our campaign is determined to spend the next two years building our policy platform with you, in church basements, town halls, and conversations with West Virginians from all walks of life. No one knows our pain, and how to heal it, better than we do.”