West Virginia Democratic Party

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West Virginia Democratic Party
ChairpersonMike Pushkin
HeadquartersCharleston, West Virginia
Membership (2023)Decrease 368,083 [1]
IdeologyModern liberalism
Big tent[2]
National affiliationDemocratic Party
U.S. Senate
1 / 2
U.S. House
0 / 2
Executive offices
0 / 6
3 / 34
House of Delegates
11 / 100

The West Virginia Democratic Party is the affiliate of the Democratic Party in the U.S. state of West Virginia.


The state of West Virginia granted itself statehood after its people, through a state constitutional convention, became a free state and broke away from the slave holding state of Virginia in 1861 during the first year of the Civil War. Article IV of the U.S. Constitution requires consent of the newly formed state, the original state, and Congress. The pro-Union Restored Government of Virginia had been recognized by Washington as the legitimate government of the entire Commonwealth, and quickly asserted its right to consent to the formation of the new state. After Congressional consent, self-statehood was gained and political party formation prospered.[3]

The West Virginia Democratic Party was started as a coalition of conservative Pro-Union Democrats, Pro-Confederate Democrats, and former members of the Whig Party. After 1872, its political dominance flourished when restrictions that disenfranchised former Confederates were struck from the state constitution.[4]

West Virginia Democrats in government[edit]

The West Virginia Democratic Party controls zero statewide executive office and holds minorities in both the West Virginia House of Delegates and the West Virginia Senate.[5][6] Democrats hold one of the state's two U.S. Senate seats and none of the state's two U.S. House seats. Incumbent governor Jim Justice was elected as a Democrat in the 2016 election, however switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party in August 2017, seven months after taking office.[7]


Judicial (West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals)[edit]

Democratic electorate[edit]

Democratic and Republican parties have dominated the American political scene for close to two centuries. In West Virginia, the Republican Union-supporting party held political power in the state from 1863 to 1872. The Democrats took power in the 1872 elections and held it until 1896. Republicans once again had control in 1896 until 1932. During the Great Depression, The Democratic Party began its dominance that lasted until 2014.

Democratic dominance in West Virginia in the 1900s[edit]

From 1930 to 2014, Democrats held majorities in both chambers of the West Virginia Legislature.[8]

Today's party organization[edit]

The party organization is governed by the West Virginia State Democratic Executive Committee. This committee comprises its leadership. The chair is Delegate Mike Pushkin[9] and the vice chairwoman is Wheeling attorney Teresa Toriseva.[10]


  1. ^ Warner, Mac. "West Virginia Voter Registration Totals, April 2023" (PDF). West Virginia Secretary of State.
  2. ^ "WV Democrats powerless to stop abortion ban". 29 July 2022.
  3. ^ west Virginia Statehood http://www.wvculture.org/history/statehoo.html Archived 2007-03-07 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Robert Rupp (November 22, 2016). "Democratic Party". The West Virginia Encyclopedia.
  5. ^ www.wvlegislature.gov https://www.wvlegislature.gov/house/roster.cfm. Retrieved 2024-01-28. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ www.wvlegislature.gov https://www.wvlegislature.gov/senate1/roster.cfm. Retrieved 2024-01-28. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ Broadcasting, West Virginia Public (2017-08-03). "Justice, a Democrat, to Switch Parties". West Virginia Public Broadcasting. Retrieved 2024-01-28.
  8. ^ Brisbin, Richard. West Virginia Politics and Government. University of Nebraska Press, 1996. p. 35 para 1.
  9. ^ ADAMS, STEVEN. "Pushkin, Walker elected to lead West Virginia Democratic Party". The Parkersburg News and Sentinel. Retrieved 13 June 2023.
  10. ^ King, Joselyn. "West Virginia Democrats Elect Toriseva Vice Chair". The Intelligencer. Wheeling News Register. Retrieved 9 June 2023.

External links[edit]