CHARLESTON -- Attorney Mike Stuart has been elected chairman of the West Virginia Republican Party,
Stuart was elected July 24 at the GOP's summer meeting at the Waterfront Hotel in Morgantown. He was chosen over incumbent chairman Doug McKinney.
"I am extremely humbled and honored to be elected Chairman of the West Virginia Republican Party," said Stuart, who also is president of the West Virginia Conservative Foundation. "The overwhelming margin of victory represents a mandate by Republican leaders across West Virginia for me to build a team and a plan to aggressively build a new majority party for the people of West Virginia. The margin of victory can leave no doubt that the Republican Party in West Virginia is unified in vision and purpose.
"West Virginia families need the Republican Party to be credible and competitive. As a leader in the Tea Party movement and as president of the West Virginia Conservative Foundation, I am pleased to join those efforts under the Republican Party as we work to realign voters and to fight for a better future for working families all across West Virginia. I want conservative Democrats and Independents to send a loud and clear message to Washington and liberal Democrat leadership by joining me and the Republican Party."
Stuart noted that in the 2008 primary, most Democrats in West Virginia voted for Hillary Clinton.
"Unfortunately, Democrat leaders in West Virginia did not care much for the voters in the Democrat Party and they endorsed and ensured the election of President Obama. Conservative Democrats in West Virginia need to reconsider their loyalty to a party that left them long ago."
Stuart said conservatism -- and the Tea Party movement -- has a natural home in the Republican Party.
"I am a proud supporter of the Tea Party movement and a proud conservative," he said. "I am also a proud Republican. As Chairman of the West Virginia Republican Party, I urge conservatives of all parties and those supporting the Tea Party movement to join me as we build a better West Virginia through the Republican Party.
"Given the challenges we face as a nation, all West Virginians must join together to help build a better future for working families and all West Virginians. The West Virginia Conservative Foundation is and shall remain an incredibly important voice for conservatives and West Virginians of all political parties."
Stuart said he will examine and review "every aspect" of the party's operations, building an "aggressive" leadership team, holding the party to higher standards of professionalism and transparency and working to build a "new majority."
"West Virginia has a clear choice," Stuart said. "It can continue with the status quo or work toward a better future with the Republican Party.
"I am not a lobbyist or a party insider. I am merely an ordinary guy that passionately believes in the potential greatness of this state and our people. As the son of a coal miner, I understand West Virginia, the challenges of our past, and the opportunities of our future. I am excited to get to work."
Stuart and his wife, Katrina, live in South Charleston with their two children, Isabella and Audrey. He is an attorney with Steptoe & Johnson in its Charleston office.