Paula Jean Swearengin

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Paula Jean Swearengin
Personal details
Born 1973/1974 (age 44–45)[1]
Mullens, West Virginia
Political party Democratic
Residence Glen White, West Virginia

Paula Jean Swearengin (born 1973/74) is an American social and environmental activist and politician from West Virginia. A member of the Democratic Party, she is associated with the progressive organizations Justice Democrats and Brand New Congress. She ran against incumbent U.S. Senator Joe Manchin in the 2018 Democratic primary but was defeated, winning 30.21% of the vote.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Swearengin was born in Mullens, West Virginia, to a family of coal miners, and raised in Yadkin County, North Carolina. She is a single mother of four from Coal City, West Virginia.[3] She lost one of her grandparents and several uncles to black lung disease.[4]

Environmental activism[edit]

She is a past board member and representative of the Keepers of the Mountain Foundation, a West Virginia organization that opposed mountaintop removal mining.[5][6] Swearengin has also spoken on behalf of the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition and the Sierra Club at public fora and events, including EPA hearings on the Clean Power Plan.[7][8]

Political candidacy and positions[edit]

Swearengin supported Bernie Sanders's 2016 presidential campaign.[9]

In May 2017, Swearengin announced her candidacy against Manchin in the 2018 United States Senate election in West Virginia. She was one of the first candidates Brand New Congress supported.[10][11] In May 2017, the Charleston Gazette-Mail noted that several other candidates had received financial contributions but that Swearengin had no immediately apparent ties to the coal industry.[12]

Swearengin supports a Medicare for All healthcare plan. She favors legalization of both medical and recreational cannabis.[9] Swearengin supports raising the minimum wage of $15 and implementing free public college tuition.[13]

Electoral history[edit]

United States Senate election in West Virginia Democratic primary, 2018[14]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Joe Manchin (incumbent) 111,589 69.8%
Democratic Paula Jean Swearengin 48,302 30.2%
Total votes 159,891 100.0%

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kamisar, Ben (June 20, 2017). "Manchin faces primary challenge from the left". The Hill. Retrieved December 22, 2017. 
  2. ^ "UPDATE: Manchin wins U.S. Senate primary for Democrats". WDTV. May 8, 2018. Retrieved May 13, 2018. 
  3. ^ "Revolt in West Virginia's Coal Country". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2018-05-14. 
  4. ^ Jean, Paula. "Brand New Congress". Brand New Congress. Brand New Congress. Retrieved 16 June 2017. 
  5. ^ "Meet Us". Keepers of the Mountain Foundation. 
  6. ^ "Our Speakers". Keepers of the Mountain Foundation. 
  7. ^ "Grassroots Groups Team Up, Head to EPA Carbon Hearings". Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition. July 27, 2014. 
  8. ^ Dixon, Mark (August 4, 2014). "EPA Hearing Climate Rally Highlight: Paula Swearingen". YouTube. 
  9. ^ a b Holdren, Wendy (May 7, 2018). "Who is Paula Jean Swearengin?". The Montgomery Herald. Retrieved May 13, 2018. 
  10. ^ Foran, Clare (May 9, 2017). "West Virginia's Conservative Democrat Gets a Primary Challenger". The Atlantic. 
  11. ^ Brown, Dylan (May 10, 2017). "Coal miner's daughter challenging Manchin". E&E News. 
  12. ^ Zuckerman, Jake (May 17, 2017). "Energy industry fills Senate candidates' coffers in WV". Charleston Gazette-Mail. 
  13. ^ Pace, Fred (April 29, 2018). "Manchin, Swearengin face off in Democrat primary for US Senate". Williamson Daily News. Retrieved May 13, 2018. 
  14. ^ "West Virginia Primary Election Results". The New York Times. May 9, 2018. 

External links[edit]