Explore some history about the Republican Party in Raleigh County, WV.
History is objective in that something real happened. It is subjective in that we often don’t have complete details on what happened, and we have few details about why. History has been used as a political tool since Cicero. At the same time, history provides a fascinating look at our forebears, and why we are where we are today. I have assembled a little history about the Republican Party in Raleigh County, WV. Whatever your political stripe, I encourage you to discover a little bit about the past as a way to inform the future. Politics is tough but it doesn’t have to be hateful.
We are all concerned about coronavirus, civil unrest, and recession. Amidst these worries, Raleigh County Republicans have some things to be happy about:
- As of August 2020, for the first time since President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected in 1932, there are more Raleigh County voters registered Republican than registered Democrat.
- We have a strong slate of Republican candidates in 2020, from the State House to the White House.
- We had an exciting first ever Election 2020 rally at the Epling Stadium in Beckley on 24 September from 5 to 7 pm (see schedule below).
The Republican Party of West Virginia has a well-written and informative article on its history. Political history at the county level is a little harder to find. The Political Graveyard, maintained by Lawrence Kestenbaum, is a valuable source of such information. The West Virginia Secretary of State, Mac Warner, also has some wonderful information. Finally, individual voters and leaders in the party such as Joe Long, Julia Long, Lillian Foti, and Stan Norman, provide a wealth of knowledge. Others who worked hard to rebuild the GOP in WV include the Emerson Stover family, the Cantley family, the Delbert Pettry family, Melba Underwood, Linda Sumner and Beverly Lund. If you have more or differing information, please let me know.
Republican Party Chairpersons in Raleigh County
- Member of West Virginia state house of delegates from Raleigh County, 1907-08.
- Chair of Raleigh County Republican Party, 1917.
Floyd McKinley Sayre (1893-1971)
- Chair of Raleigh County Republican Party, 1940-46.
- Delegate to Republican National Convention from West Virginia, 1940.
- Candidate for Presidential Elector for West Virginia, 1964.
Robert Johnson Ashworth (1909-2008)
- Born in McDowell County, W.Va.
- Served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
- Chair of Raleigh County Republican Party, 1949-54.
- Alternate delegate to Republican National Convention from West Virginia, 1956
- President and part owner, Richmond Cleaners and Laundry.
- Circuit judge in West Virginia, 1988.
- Member, Lions; Elks; Moose; Freemasons; Shriners; Phi Delta Theta.
Truman Lynch Sayre (1925-2018)
- Candidate for West Virginia state house of delegates from Raleigh County, 1954
- Chair of Raleigh County Republican Party, 1961.
Mrs. Reginald Meyers
- WV Republican. Chair of Raleigh County Republican Party, 1962.
- WV Republican. Chair of Raleigh County Republican Party, 1963.
Howard L Spears
- WV Republican. Chair of Raleigh County Republican Party, 1973.
Emerson O. Stover
- WV Republican. Chair of Raleigh County Republican Party, 1983.
- Incorporator with Clear Creek Volunteer Fire Department, 1976.
“Pee Wee” Gillis Cornett
- WV Republican. Chair of Raleigh County Republican Party, 1998.
Joseph Long (1937-)
- WV Republican. Chair of Raleigh County Republican Party, 1999-2008, 2011-2013.
- WV Republican. Chair of Raleigh County Republican Party, 2008-2010, 2017-2018.
Stan Norman (1949-)
- WV Republican. Chair of Raleigh County Republican Party, 2018-2019.
- Physician, retired Army Colonel
- WV Republican. Chair of Raleigh County Republican Party, 2019-2021.
- Alternate delegate for Republican National Convention (COVID-19 canceled), 2020.
- WV Republican Party State Chair, 2021 to 2022.
Republican National Convention Delegates and Alternates
- 1924, Cleveland: Brown W. Payne
- 1932, Chicago: David D. Ashworth
- 1936, Cleveland: David D. Ashworth, Rosalie C. Muller
- 1940, Philadelphia: Floyd M. Sayre
- 1944, Chicago: Brown H. Payne
- 1956, San Francisco: Robert J. Ashworth, J. S. Butts
- 1960, Chicago: James K. Edmundson, Eugene L. Scott
- 2004, New York: Rick Snuffer
- 2008, St. Paul: Jonathan Rinker, Sarah Rinker, Dereck Severt, Russ Weeks
- 2020, Charlotte NC (COVID 19 – canceled): Mark Harris selected.
- 2002 we elected Linda Sumner to house. first one in 50 years.
- 2004 we got our first State Senator Elected (Russ Weeks) and he defeated Senator Bill Wooten (Judicial Chairman.
- 2004 – State Republican Convention at Tamarack in Beckley, WV.
In the last 4 years (2015-2018), there were 431 contributions totaling $121,133 to Democratic and liberal campaigns, averaging $281 per contribution.
In the last 4 years, there were 516 contributions totaling $647,990 to Republican and conservative campaigns, averaging $1,256 per contribution.
Presidential Votes for Raleigh County, WV,
|Turnout %||Regis-tration||West Virginia|
(Electoral College winner)
|2020||R 19312D 19406|
|2016||Donald Trump-R||55.2||R 17095D 24299||Donald Trump-R||Donald Trump-R|
|2012||Mitt Romney R||52.8||R 14823D 29415||Mitt Romney-R||Barack Obama-D|
|2008||John S. McCain R||51.7||R 14117D 30966||John S. McCain-R||Barack Obama-D|
|2004||George W. Bush R||George W. Bush R||George W. Bush R|
|2000||George W. Bush R||George W. Bush R||George W. Bush R|
|1996||Bill Clinton D||Bill Clinton-D||Bill Clinton-D|
|1992||Bill Clinton D||Bill Clinton D||Bill Clinton-D|
|1988||Michael S. Dukakis D||Michael S. Dukakis D||George Bush R|
|1984||Ronald Reagan R||Ronald Reagan R||Ronald Reagan-R|
|1980||Jimmy Carter D||Jimmy Carter D||Ronald Reagan-R|
|1976||Jimmy Carter D||Jimmy Carter D||Jimmy Carter-D|
|1972||Richard M. Nixon R||Richard M. Nixon R||Richard M. Nixon-R|
|1968||Hubert H. Humphrey D||Hubert H. Humphrey-D||Richard M. Nixon-R|
|1964||Lyndon B. Johnson D||Lyndon B. Johnson-D||Lyndon B. Johnson-D|
|1960||John F. Kennedy D||John F. Kennedy-D||John F. Kennedy-D|
|1956||Dwight D. Eisenhower R||Dwight D. Eisenhower R||Dwight D. Eisenhower- R|
|1952||Adlai E. Stevenson D||Adlai E. Stevenson-D||Dwight D. Eisenhower- R|
|1948||Harry S. Truman D||Harry S. Truman-D||Harry S. Truman-D|
|1944||Franklin D. Roosevelt D||Franklin D. Roosevelt-D||Franklin D. Roosevelt-D|
|1940||Franklin D. Roosevelt D||Franklin D. Roosevelt-D||Franklin D. Roosevelt -D|
|1936||Franklin D. Roosevelt D||Franklin D. Roosevelt-D||Franklin D. Roosevelt-D|
|1932||Franklin D. Roosevelt D||Franklin D. Roosevelt-D||Franklin D. Roosevelt-D|
|1928||Herbert Hoover R||Herbert Hoover-R||Herbert Hoover-R|
|1924||Calvin Coolidge-R||Calvin Coolidge-R||Calvin Coolidge-R|
|1920||Warren G. Harding R||Warren G. Harding-R||Warren G. Harding-R|
|1916||Charles Evans Hughes R||Charles Evans Hughes-R||Woodrow Wilson-D|
|1912||[no data]||Woodrow Wilson-D||Woodrow Wilson-D|
|1908||William H. Taft R||William H. Taft R||William H. Taft R|
|1904||Theodore Roosevelt R||Theodore Roosevelt-R||Theodore Roosevelt-R|
|1900||William McKinley R||William McKinley-R||William McKinley-R|
|1896||William McKinley R||William McKinley-R||William McKinley-R|
|1892||Grover Cleveland D||Grover Cleveland-D||Grover Cleveland-D|
|1888||Grover Cleveland D||Grover Cleveland-D||Benjamin Harrison – R|
|1884||[no data]||Grover Cleveland-D||Grover Cleveland-D|
|1880||[no data]||Winfield S. Hancock – D||James A. Garfield – R|