WEST VIRGINIA
     Nov. 3, 2020 Governor

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+Jim Justice (R) i
497,944
64.77%
Ben Salango (D) 237,024
30.83%
Erika Kolenich (L) 22,527
2.93%
Daniel P. "Danny" Lutz
11,309
1.47%

768,804

Registration: 1,269,219.  Ballots cast: 802,726. 
Margin of victory:  260,920 votes (33.94 percentage points).
 WV Sec. of State



Notes:
Republicans swept all statewide races and Gov. Jim Justice (R) won a second term, defeating attorney and Kanawha County Commissioner Ben Salango (D) by a wide margin.  Others in the race were attorney Erika Kolenich (L) and retired Air Force colonel Danny Lutz (M).  Justice, a billionaire businessman, was elected as a Democrat in 2016, but announced his switch to the Republican Party on Aug. 3, 2017. 

Primaries were held on June 9.  In the Republican primary Justice tallied 62.79% of the vote, defeating six candidates led by former secretary of the Department of Commerce Woody Thrasher (18.31%) and former member of the House of Delegates Mike Folk (12.49%). In the Democratic primary Salango, seen as the establishment candidate, finished with 38.74% of the vote, topping a field of five candidates led by Stephen Smith (33.80%) and state Sen. Ron Stollings (13.35%).  Smith, who served as executive director of the WV Healthy Kids and Families Coalition for six years, attracted some national attention for his grassroots, progressive campaign run under the theme "West Virginia Can't Wait."
 

There was only one debate, on Oct. 13 in Morgantown, hosted by the West Virginia Broadcasters Association and moderated by MetroNews' Hoppy Kercheval (>).  The two candidates and the moderator were seated around a large round table; all had been recently tested for COVID.  There were two-minute closing statements.

 
Campaign Managers
:
Jim Justice: Roman Stauffer
(Sept. 2019)  President of Capitol Strategies, LLC, an advisory firm in Charleston.  Executive director of West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse, Jan.-Dec. 2013.  Executive director of The New Majority Fund, Del. Troy Andes' leadership PAC, Jan. 2012-Jan. 2014.  Deputy political director and campaign scheduler on Bill Maloney for West Virginia, July-Nov. 2011.  Communications director for the West Virginia Chamber, Apr. 2010-June 2011.  Chief of staff to Senate Minority Leader Don Caruth, Jan.-Oct. 2009.  Campaign manager on Beth Walker for Supreme Court, Nov. 2007-Nov. 2008.  Lead advance representative on Fred Thompson for President, Aug. 2007-Jan. 2008.  Field representative for the Virginia Senate Republican Leadership Trust, Apr.-Aug. 2007.  Legislative aide for Senate Minority Leader Dn Caruth, Jan.-Mar. 2007.  B.S. in business administration from Concord University, 2004.
note: Stauffer succeeded Mike Lukach, whom Justice had announced as his campaign manager on Apr. 15, 2019.


Ben Salango:
Grant Herring
(Dec. 2019)  Campaign manager on Rocky Adkins for Governor (KY), Jan.-May 2019.  Communications director on Manchin for West Virginia, Sept. 2017-Nov. 2018.  Press secretary to Gov. Jim Justice, Jan.-Aug. 2017.  Communications director on Jim Justice for Governor, Aug. 2015-Nov. 2016.  Deputy communications director on Mark Pryor for U.S. Senate (AR), Jan.-Nov. 2014.  Communications director on Ralph Northam for Lt. Governor, June-Nov. 2013.  Communications director and spokesman on John Tierney for Congress, May-Nov. 2012.  Communications director to Virginia Sen. Dick Saslaw, Jan.-Dec. 2011.  Communications director (Jan. 2008-Dec. 2010) and deputy finance director (2008-09) on Connolly for Congress (VA).  B.A. in government and international politic from George Mason University, 2010.








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