The Herald Dispatch Candidate Questionnaire

U.S. Senate candidate: Paula Jean Swearengin (D)

HD (Herald Dispatch) Media is running submitted questionnaires from candidates in the 2020 elections.

We are working with all candidates in contested races to get their questionnaires included on our website.


NAME: Paula Jean Swearengin


PARTY: Democrat


HOME CITY: Mullens

HOME COUNTY: Wyoming County

ENDORSEMENTS: Brand New Congress, Blue America, Women for Bernie, Silvers for Sanders, 90 for 90, WV for Elizabeth Warren, Down with Tyranny, Save Main Street.

PERSONAL STATEMENT: I’m a coal miner’s daughter and granddaughter. America was built on the backs of Appalachians. Like so many, my family paid a steep price for coal. I lost many of my family members to cancer and black lung. West Virginia’s most valuable resource is our people. We are determined, hard-working and smart. When we band together, there’s nothing we can’t accomplish. I’m ready to fight for my family, my neighbors and my state to deliver the prosperous, healthy future that we deserve.

Questions from the West Virginia League of Women Voters:



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Democratic Senate Candidate Paula Jean Swearengin Picks Up Momentum



Contact Name: Media Team, Paula Jean for West Virginia – [email protected]

Web: www.paulajean.com Twitter: @paulajean2020 FB: PaulaJean2020 IG: @paulajeanwv2020

Communications and Policy Director: Kaylen Barker

Phone: 304-395-2862


Democratic Senate Candidate Paula Jean Swearengin Picks Up Momentum


COAL CITY — For its April 15, 2020, FEC reporting, 2020 Democratic U.S. Senate Candidate for West Virginia Paula Jean Swearengin’s Campaign reports a total of $224,776.68 from 9600+ individual contributions. Between January 1, 2020 and March 31, 2020, the Paula Jean for West Virginia Committee raised $109,134.64 from nearly 4400 individual contributions, with an average contribution of $23.43. The Committee not only received more individual, non-PAC donations than her opponents combined, but raised more in total than all challengers in the race.


“I think about the single mother who donated $5 from her minimum-wage check because she believes in a better future. I think about the supporter on disability who gives because they want a better future for their loved ones, Swearengin said. “Our volunteers and supporters believe we deserve lasting, viable work, healthcare as a human right, and sustainable economic opportunities to West Virginia.”


In line with her 2018 campaign, Swearengin has refused to accept corporate and corporate PAC donations. She’s signed the West Virginia Can’t Wait pledge along with West Virginia gubernatorial candidate Stephen Smith. Swearengin has received notable endorsements from Brand New Congress, Blue America and others.


Swearengin’s fundraising stands in stark contrast to incumbent Republican Shelley Moore Capito who is primarily funded by corporate PACs and Leadership PAC funds. Swearengin’s large number of individual donations showcase significant momentum for her small-dollar grassroots-driven campaign and her fundraising performance compared to all challengers in the race shows her viability as a candidate.


In 2018, Swearengin’s U.S. Senate race broke state records by garnering 48,594 primary votes, the highest votes against a sitting incumbent in West Virginia in 75 years. She also acquired more votes than any Republican candidate on the ballot including Patrick Morrisey.


“Our team is gearing up with hundreds of volunteers across the state. We are going to take this fight all the way to the General election and beyond, Swearengin said. “We’re tired of representatives playing politics with our lives and we’re ready for leadership that will put West Virginia first. To us, this is not about partisan politics, it’s about the future of West Virginia.


Democrat Paula Jean Swearengin is a coal miner’s daughter and granddaughter who has been fighting for clean water, clean air and a diverse economy for the Appalachian community for decades. Swearengin is fighting for bold policies that diversify West Virginia’s economy including the Federal Jobs Guarantee, and the Reclaim Act that would renew abandoned coal towns and bring more jobs and small businesses to West Virginia. She supports federal funding and grants to rebuild and expand infrastructure, create state-wide broadband and entice new industry to West Virginia.

For more info on Paula Jean’s campaign, please visit paulajean.com and follow @paulajean2020 on Twitter and Facebook, and paulajeanwv2020 on Instagram.

cc: Paula Jean Swearengin Headshot

Paid for and authorized by the Paula Jean for West Virginia Committee

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Coal Miner’s Daughter Files for the Democratic Nomination for U.S. Senate

Coal Miner’s Daughter Files for the Democratic Nomination for U.S. Senate

Press Releases
January 13, 2020

Paula Jean Swearengin, building upon the strength of her 2018 upstart campaign, is launching her progressive campaign to unseat Republican Shelley Moore Capito.

Charleston, WV – Today, progressive Democrat Paula Jean Swearengin will formally file her candidacy for the Democratic nomination for United States Senate in West Virginia. Swearengin, the daughter and granddaughter of coal miners, is launching her campaign on the strength of her 2018 progressive challenge to Senator Joe Manchin.

“We are tired of politicians playing games with our lives. I am running against Corporate PAC Shelley Moore Capito because it’s time ordinary West Virginias were represented by an ordinary West Virginian. We are one of the poorest states in this nation, and it’s time for a movement that will guarantee healthcare or all, end the addiction epidemic, and help build a diverse economy that will create decent-paying jobs with benefits. The people have been calling for it, and it’s time we had leadership that’s willing to listen and do something about it,” said Swearengin.

“Our campaign is fighting to give voters a real choice in this election. Unlike our current senator, I’m not a millionaire and have not spent 20 years in Washington. I know what it’s like to struggle to put food on the table and make ends meet. We’ve had enough of career politicians who put their party and donors before the working people in this state. We deserve a senator who won’t turn their back on West Virginia. Our campaign is more than a candidacy; it’s built on a movement and built by people who are ready for change,” added Swearengin.

Paula Jean Swearengin is a proud native of Mullens, West Virginia, and her coal-mining roots run deep. She is a coal miner’s daughter, granddaughter, niece and stepdaughter. In 2018, she challenged incumbent Senator Joe Manchin in the Democratic primary, drawing a stark contrast as a true progressive alternative and receiving more than 30% of the vote. A national endorser and surrogate for Bernie Sanders for president, Paula Jean Swearengin ran for the U.S. Senate in 2018 as part of a national progressive coalition, which included such stalwarts as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

That historic fight, provided in the internationally acclaimed documentary Knock Down the House, https://knockdownthehouse.com/, has helped inspire a movement leading to hundreds of progressive candidates to challenge the political establishment and run for offices across the country. Swearengin, who has resigned from her job to become a full-time Senate candidate, is running a campaign that is 100% people-powered, with no special interest, lobbyist or PAC money.

For more information, visit www.PaulaJean.com.

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