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West Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stephen Smith: ‘the people who have the least pay the most’

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BLUEFIELD, W.Va (WVVA) - The West Virginia primary is coming up on Tues. June 9. One of the candidates on the ballot is Democrat Stephen Smith.

Smith was the former director of the West Virginia Healthy Kids Coalition, a non-profit organization that works to improve the health and well-being of kids in the mountain state.

"Our organization did all kinds of things, not just related to children and families, but we helped expand school breakfast programs, we helped people start community gardens and small businesses in their own backyards, more than 300 of those projects....," said Smith.

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Smith says his campaign is not taking money from corporate PACS and lobbyists. Smith hopes to shift political and economic power in West Virginia, and he says that starts with a "fundamental re-ordering of the tax code."

"In West Virginia, the people who have the most pay the least, and the people who have the least pay the most," said Smith. "That's true of corporate taxes, business taxes, property taxes, it's true of our individual tax rates. All we're saying is the people at the top, the out of state corporations that are coming to undercut our small businesses, need to pay their fair share, too."

Smith also responded to racial division in America, and he says his campaign is the only one that has showed up for protests.

"West Virginia has a long history of standing on the side of anybody who's being hurt whether it was the mine wars 100 years ago or the teachers' strike two years ago," said Smith. "(There are) people who are working the hardest, sacrificing the most, and that includes people being brutalized by police, that's whose side we're on, and we're not ashamed to say it,"

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For more information on Smith's campaign, go here.

Melinda Zosh

Evening Anchor and Producer

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