(Ronceverte, WV) Senator Stephen Baldwin, (D-Greenbrier) has announced that he will seek re-election to the West Virginia State Senate representing the realigned 10th district. The new district is comprised of Greenbrier, Monroe, Nicholas, Summers and part of Fayette counties.
Senator Baldwin was joined by community leaders, family and supporters from the district during his announcement at Island Park Amphitheater in Ronceverte.
“As a pastor, I am a very active believer in the theology of prayer,” Baldwin said. “We have to get our hands in there and really do something. So, this was not a decision that I came to quickly or lightly. It’s a full-time job that requires all your heart, and all your soul. I wanted to spend a lot of time in prayer and reflection and make sure that I still have that to
give to you.”
Senator Baldwin helped to lead regional recovery efforts after the devastating flood in 2016. Erin Hurst, who serves on the Covid Task Force in Greenbrier County which Senator Baldwin organized, said that he was a calming influence in a time of extreme crisis.
“Stephen was always there, asking the questions, gathering accurate information, and rallying all available federal and state resources,” Hurst said. “How lucky we are to have this caring human represent us.”
Paula Brown, who serves as a board member of Greater Greenbrier Long Term Recovery, cited Senator Baldwin’s ability to fight for the communities in the aftermath of the flood.
“When the FEMA and HUD money came, there were a lot of hands wanting those dollars, we had roadblocks everywhere,” Brown said. “Stephen was there at every turn; our recovery would not have happened without him.”
Baldwin has been active in veterans’ issues, leading the fight to secure funding for the new veteran’s nursing home in Beckley. Steve Ellison, a Vietnam veteran, knew Stephen Baldwin before he was elected Senator. He and fellow veterans were looking for a location to meet. As pastor of Ronceverte Presbyterian Church, Baldwin opened the church facilities to the group.
“Stephen has always supported vets; he would ask what we can do for you?” Ellison said. “When he became our Senator, he kept asking. Senator Baldwin is willing to cross Party lines to do what is in the best interests of our citizens.”
Ben Long, a fourth-generation cattle farmer in Greenbrier County, praised Senator Baldwin’s efforts to help rural families thrive and earn a living from the land.
“Working with Stephen from all angles, he has been an asset for the agricultural community,” Long said. “He is always on top of our issues, helping anytime we have a problem. Senator, you’ve got my vote.”
Kerry Baldwin, Senator Baldwin’s wife, introduced him to the crowd. She described his love and caring for their family, the citizens of West Virginia, and his desire to effect change for the better. She cautioned supporters that they must be on guard against disinformation.
“I ask you to rise up and speak with truth when lies are told,” Mrs. Baldwin said. “You don’t have to be the loudest voice in the room, small actions done regularly effect change.”
Mrs. Baldwin said when she was asked to describe her husband in one word, she said ‘authentic’ popped right out.
“The man you see in public is the same man I know, only maybe a little goofier at home”, she said to laughter from the crowd. “Stephen lives all of his life as a calling to service.”
Senator Baldwin told his supporters that he decided to place his name on the ballot again for three reasons; first, to work with all to help restore unity in our state; second, because there is much work left to do for broadband, flood recovery, clean water and good-paying jobs. He said his third reason is because the good fight is worth fighting, and
good trouble is worth causing.
“Five years ago, after the great flood, we came together as one,” Baldwin said. “We put aside titles and labels and assumptions. It was the worst thing that has ever happened to us; the way we came together as one was the best thing we’ve ever done. Time and time again, when our backs are against the wall in southern West Virginia, we call forth our better angels and come together.”