Riley Moore upset of incumbent state treasurer a big win for West Virginia GOP

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CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. (WDVM) — Call it the Red Wave. It swept over West Virginia’s political landscape at the polls Tuesday night. It spelled success for West Virginia Republicans at the ballot box.

A 24-year Democratic incumbent state treasurer, John Perdue, was dethroned in this 2020 Republican sweep — by Riley Moore, former state delegate and grandson of former West Virginia Governor Arch Moore, nephew of U.S Senator Shelley Moore Capito who, herself, pulled 70 percent of the vote to win a second term.

“No Republican has ever unseated a 24-year incumbent statewide in state history,” Moore says. “I’m going to be the first Republican state treasurer in 92 years.” Democratic State Treasurer John Purdue was elected to that office in 1996.

The secret to the GOP success?

Says Lori Cascio, a Republican Party volunteer, “on the ground, the grassroots, I think the GOP’s really come out with making calls and door-knocking and such. Young people, old people — you name it, we were all out for this election.”

But it was more than just the volunteer ground game. Says Regina Smith, another Republican Party volunteer, “we have very dedicated candidates who all work extremely hard.”

They worked hard to help protect a targeted eastern panhandle senate seat and pick up a Jefferson County seat in the House of Delegates. Says Mark Fuhrmann, another Republican party volunteer, “We are just so happy with the results.”

But not so fast says veteran Jefferson County Delegate John Doyle, one of the few Democrats to survive this red wave.

“I’ve seen this kind of dynamic before when I was in the majority,” Doyle says. “The bigger the majority gets the more diffused it gets.”

But with these gains at the ballot box, the GOP is moving ahead with its policy agenda.

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