HUNTINGTON – Huntington attorney Paul Farrell Jr. won 9 percent of the vote in the May 10 state primary election.
Farrell did no fund-raising and spent no money campaigning. He only paid $2,500 to have his name on the ballot to protest how Democrats have treated the coal industry.
While Sen. Bernie Sanders won the state with 123,860 votes, and Hillary Clinton came in with 86,354 votes, Farrell captured 21,559 votes, beating out Keith Judd (4,452), Martin O’Malley (3,781) and Rocky De La Fuente (1,010).
Farrell told The New York Times he got the idea to run after church one Sunday when he was complaining to his brothers about how the president, Clinton and other national Democrats were complicit in the war on coal. Farrell did not return phone calls or emails to The West Virginia Record for this story.
Farrell said while he understood the appeal of Donald Trump in West Virginia, he would remain loyal to his party and if Clinton prevailed as the nominee, that he hoped she remembered the message coming from the coal industry’s heartland.
“I’m hoping that she sees that I beat her in Mingo County and that she decides not to just make campaign promises to rebuild West Virginia’s infrastructure,” Farrell told The New York Times. “I hope that she places it in the party platform and makes it a priority.”
Farrell initially put his name on the ballot to give West Virginia a voice. He had previously said West Virginia had been forgotten and the president and presidential candidates have failed the coal industry.
Farrell had hoped to win some delegates to use as a bargaining chip to ensure that West Virginia would be heard by the Democratic nominee.
Farrell needed to earn at least 15 percent of the vote in each of the state’s three congressional districts to earn a delegate. He met the mark in two districts and missed the third by 1 percent.