Stephen Smith


Three candidates vying for the Democratic nomination for governor of West Virginia debated Tuesday night, as the coronavirus pandemic continued to spread globally and across the Mountain State.  

The virus loomed large throughout the hour-long debate hosted by WVVA between attorney and Kanawha County Commissioner Ben Salango, physician and Boone County state Sen. Ron Stollings and child advocate Stephen Smith.

Courtesy photo / via facebook

Charleston community organizer Stephen Smith has announced his candidacy for governor in 2020.


Smith, who is running as a Democrat, recently stepped down as director of the West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Coalition. The organization has focused on raising the minimum wage, child heath care and other policies aimed to help working class families.



Executive Director for the Healthy Kids and Families Coalition Stephen Smith
Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Child and family advocates are not giving up their fight to restore more than $800,000 in funding cut from service programs across the state. A vigil, spearheaded by the Our Children, Our Future campaign, took to the State Capitol Tuesday morning to have their message heard.

Executive Director for the Healthy Kids and Families Coalition Stephen Smith stood in the lower rotunda of the Capitol surround by fellow social service advocates holding signs. Some contained countless purple ribbons representing families expected to lose services if the cuts aren’t restored, others with 80 pink slips representing the number of jobs expected to be lost.