Paula Jean Swearengin
For Senate
West Virginia
Join the political revolution
For info and updates

Time To Invest In Ourselves

West Virginia coal powered a nation. Now it’s time for West Virginia to invest in ourselves. I'm ready to fight for Medicare for all, universal pre-K, free tech schools and colleges, and a multi-billion dollar investment in West Virginian infrastructure, industry and innovation.

"The industrial revolution was built on the backs of coal miners - our backs. We’ve provided power to America and now, it’s time to empower ourselves."

In the wealthiest nation in the world, nobody should have to beg for clean water, clean air and prosperity

The political establishment has monopolized our wealth and power for long enough. The American people are ready for a new movement that creates systemic change. We can't expect career politicians, who benefit from maintaining the status quo, to create change, and fight for the people. I'm part of a national movement to create a democracy that works for all of us and finally moves West Virginia forward in a positive direction.

Read My Full Platform Here

West Virginia deserves a working class leader

A native of Mullens, West Virginia, Paula Jean Swearengin’s coal mining roots grow deep. She’s a coal miner’s daughter. In fact, she’s a coal miner’s granddaughter. As a child, she felt a deep sense of pride in the state’s dominant industry. West Virginia’s coal powered the nation through the Industrial Revolution, and kept our factories running through World War II. America was built by West Virginia coal - built by families like Paula Jean’s. Yet, like so many from Appalachia, her family paid a steep price for coal. She lost her grandfather to black lung, and her uncles have since been diagnosed with the disease. The beautiful streams and rivers she loved growing up have become toxic, as runoff from the mines leached into the region’s groundwater. As for Paula Jean? The girl who believed she was a redhead found out her naturally brown hair had been stained all her young life by the orange water in which she showered. When her stepfather lost his job at the mine, the family moved to North Carolina and tried to find a new line of work. She returned to her home state after high school to take care of her ailing grandfather. Coming back to coal country, Paula Jean saw entire communities left in the dust when a mine shut down, small businesses drying up, miners and their children struggling with diseases brought on by the industry, and a whole generation struggling to find reliable, safe jobs that would put enough food on the table. As a single mom of four boys, she vowed to do something about it - and that's why she's running for U.S. Senate in West Virginia.

How Will You Help?

Host an Event
Attend an Event
Call Voters
Join a National Team
Check all options you're interested in and we'll provide details for each once we know you're in.
Democracy is powered by volunteers like yourself.

Time To Invest In Ourselves

A Living Wage and Workers' Rights
More

Minimum wage has not kept up with the cost of living. It has been nearly ten years since the last modest increase the federal government was willing to pass. Over that same time, the wealth gap grew larger than ever. This is about justice and basic human decency. If you work hard and you work full time you shouldn’t live in poverty. And all workers should have their rights protected! I support strong unions and collective bargaining. I am forever proud to have stood on the lines and at rallies at the Capitol with the West Virginia teachers and public employees who helped reignite the Labor movement across the country.

Read More
Medicare For All
More

Every attempt made toward affordable health care, including the ACA, has been corrupted by the interests of the insurance and pharmaceutical industries. Many of the problems with the legislation can and should be fixed with little regard for the profit protection amendments introduced by members of both parties. We can't let the tantrums of corporate lobbyists and their sponsored members of Congress poke holes in our progress through legislative deal-making. We must start looking toward the future. The support for Medicare For All in Washington and among voters has grown to an all time high, but there's still much work to be done. Recent cost-analyses show an average annual cost savings for households and the elimination of unpredictable market-driven prices for coverage. A modernized single-payer system heads-off pharmaceutical price-fixing and takes away the insurance companies' incentives for denying your treatment to improve their bottom line. Also, universal preventative health care reduces overall costs! It's the right thing to do!

Read More
Tuition-free Pre-K and higher education
More

In America, every child deserves a chance to succeed. Equal and unlimited access to a quality education should be a right, not a privilege. Educating the citizenry of a nation pays dividends in the long run, with the economy getting back much more than is initially put in. Crushing student debt for higher education should no longer burden young people trying to improve their lives through hard work. We have the tools to build the best education system in the world! We just need the will to do it.

Read More
Ending Corruption in Washington
More

Voter turnout continues to be depressed because people feel defeated by the massive sums of money spent influencing politicians and elections. Our current campaign financing system is largely legal bribery. Representatives who gladly take huge checks from industry and special interests are not representing the will of their constituents. This has to stop! We have already seen the mess caused by dark money and unchecked corporate donations. Our goal to create free and fair elections should be a clean public financing system. A Constitutional amendment to overturn the corrupt Citizens United ruling will help stem the tide. Americans deserve free, fair, accountable, secure elections so we can trust that Washington is on the side of the people.

Read More
Energy Diversity Creates Jobs
More

With forward-thinking initiatives and federal investment, West Virginia can release the grip extraction industries have on our state’s priorities. Our state can become a leader in the manufacture and installation of products in the booming renewable energy market. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that solar and wind installation and maintenance jobs in the United States are growing twice as fast as ANY other industry. Solar alone expanded 17 times faster than the entire U.S. economy in 2017. Solar and wind jobs grew 12 times faster than in the rest of the entire market. Our state is also blessed with the best geothermal resources east of the Mississippi River and these remain largely untapped. The Department of Energy has also identified 18 sites in West Virginia for development. We can even reclaim mountaintop removal sites for hemp and solar farms. Tax subsidies for oil and gas companies must end and be transferred to initiatives for renewable energy to expand.

Read More
Clean Air and Water for All
More

West Virginia rivers and streams are constantly threatened by drainage, dumping, spills, and run-off from all of the industries who get tax and regulation breaks in the name of jobs. Explosions, leaks, and five-day chemical fires have filled our air with toxins. What good are those jobs if you and your family are sick from it? Even worse, most of the companies guilty of these abuses are often headquartered out-of-state and are reporting record profits! CEOs are raking in millions in salaries and bonuses at the expense of our health. Clean air and water should always be part of the cost of doing business.

Read More
Tackling the Addiction Crisis
More

When a community suffers a natural disaster, the urgency brings people from all walks of life together to organize a response in the hope of saving lives. We now suffer a man-made disaster that affects hundreds of thousands of people from all walks of life. Addiction and the horrific deaths related to it are consuming our citizens and destroying families at an alarming rate. This is a public health crisis that cannot be met solely with severe punishments for street dealers. Congress must listen to the professionals who advocate for long-term care, more strict regulation of pill mills, proper oversight of pharmaceuticals, and more resources to disrupt the fentanyl black market. We need to address the causes of addiction and the entrenched systems that feed it for profit.

Read More
Women’s Reproductive Health
More

Women have a right to access family planning services, contraception, and professional care. Abortions should be rare, safe, legal and between a woman and her doctor, without government interference. We reduce the number of abortions by funding education and health care, promoting contraception, and fighting poverty. This has already proven effective, reducing the national rate below levels not seen since before Roe v. Wade. Attacks on women’s reproductive rights, cuts in education, and threats of punishment have consistently slowed the rate of reduction, clearly having an opposite effect of that intended. Though the rate had been steadily in decline since 1980, a dramatic reduction occurred over the past decade, coinciding with increased access to health care. Continuing this trend is essential.

Read More
Veterans' Issues
More

Our men and women in uniform have taken a pledge to defend this country and put their lives on the line when deployed. We have a moral obligation to uphold our pledge to provide veterans and their families with the benefits and support they deserve. This includes providing first-class, accessible health care. The VA health care system can be more effective by expanding facilities and allocating staff where most needed to increase quality and access of care and to greatly reduce wait times. Veterans also deserve the choice and convenience of seeing a local health care provider for their needs. Although the Veterans Choice Act of 2014 was intended to address these issues, misappropriated resources and private, third party administrators have left the VA system understaffed and mismanaged. Veterans’ mental health care must also be a priority for our nation. Tragically, an estimated 22 veterans commit suicide each day. Expanded VA services, community and outreach programs, and providing alternative treatments would help veterans deal with PTSD and depression. The alarming rate of homelessness among veterans is also a concern. Veterans deserve opportunities to secure well-paying jobs to pay their bills after they come home from war.

Read More
Equal Rights for All
More

Equal rights and opportunity for all: America is defined by equality and freedom. Every person, regardless of gender, race, sexual preference, religion, background, education or income is entitled to basic human rights and should have the opportunity to thrive. This includes meeting their basic needs, access to education, health care, and all forms of employment.

Read More
Comprehensive Cannabis Reform
More

Congress can immediately act on removing federal roadblocks to legal medical and recreational cannabis. This would allow states to continue to reap the rewards of the economic boom and permit states like West Virginia to create jobs and join in the prosperity. A growing number of veterans and patients suffering from cancer and other chronic ailments are demanding access to cannabis as a pain treatment. Every effort should be made at both the state and federal level to accomplish this goal.

Read More
Create A Just Justice System
More

One of the many benefits of rescheduling cannabis is that it would pull the drain plug out of the for-profit prison system and reduce the stress of our overworked and underpaid correctional officers. Additionally, more treatment options for addiction will significantly unhinder the prison population of non-violent offenders. Law enforcement has more serious matters on their hands. Continuing with the status quo creates unnecessary weight on our courts and the state budget. It is also often more expensive to house an inmate than to pay for a student’s college tuition. That is taxpayer money that could be spent in smarter ways. Most importantly, we must prioritize helping the most disadvantaged communities, instead of using them as a source for political and financial gain.

Read More
Addressing Climate Change
More

The Pentagon, national security experts, and our intelligence agencies all agree that climate change is a prominent national security threat. Developing contingency plans to deal with the foreseeable impact is imperative to ensure communities are prepared before and after a disaster. We must enact bold policies that prioritize our environment and people over the profits of polluting industries to address the man-made effects on our climate.

Read More
Foreign Policy
More

Foreign policy challenges should always first be met with diplomatic solutions. Our country has seen too many costly and deadly wars to engage in further unnecessary conflict. We can remain a strong and secure nation by resolving conflicts with peaceful and tactful efforts. Securing and strengthening committed allies builds economic partnerships and cooperation. Our nation can work with allies to prevent international conflict and reduce global threats, such as nuclearization, terrorism, and climate change.

Read More
Guns
More

I fully support both the second amendment and common sense gun measures. Again and again we find that, even though nearly 90% of Americans support expanded background checks, Congress has repeatedly failed to take action. I believe in your and my right to own a firearm. Where I come from, respect for guns is a part of life. But many of our representatives of both parties have taken piles of money from gun lobbyists while they kneecapped any legislation that would even marginally cut into the manufacturers’ annual record-breaking profits, even when the public is demanding it. 2017 was the deadliest year for mass shootings in modern history. 2018 is already on pace to eclipse 2017. It doesn't take a scientist to figure out what to do about it, but Congress should immediately empower the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to study the national health impacts of gun violence. Until then, every loophole for background checks should be closed. The reporting criteria for checks must also be mandated and further expanded to include red-flag behaviors, like non-gun violence, threats, mental health incidents, and school disciplinary actions. This will make background checks more effective overall. I also follow the lead of our trained and experienced military veterans and law enforcement who believe that high-capacity magazines and modifications to the modern sporting rifle platform that enable military-style firing functions, sometimes referred to as assault weapons, should be restricted.

Read More
A Progressive Revolt Is Brewing in West Virginia
There is a revolt brewing in West Virginia politics. Last Friday Lissa Lucas, an author and celebrated backyard chicken farmer from Cairo, i...
Meet the Coal Miner’s Daughter Taking on Joe Manchin for Sen...
Paula Jean Swearengin supported Bernie Sanders in 2016. Now she’s challenging Big Coal and the Senate’s most conservative Democrat.
“It’s Time For West Virginia To Rise Up”: A Q&A with Paula S...
Democrat Joe Manchin has represented West Virginia in the U.S. Senate for seven years. Manchin calls himself “pro-life,” voted to confirm al...
Can You Win in Trump Country with a Bernie Sanders Platform?
"We're going to War," Paula Jean Swearengin announces with a chuckle as we dip around winding roads in the thick of the Appalachian Mountain...
Manchin faces primary challenge from the left
Paula Jean Swearengin is no stranger to taking on West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D). She confronted the senator during a March town hall in...

Attend an Upcoming Event

RSVP

Phone banking for Paula Jean Swearengin
April, 22 from 2 PM - 5 PM

RSVP

Calling for Change - Phone bank for Paula Jean
April, 25 from 7 PM - 9 PM

RSVP

Phone banking for Paula Jean Swearengin
April, 29 from 2 PM - 5 PM

RSVP

Phone banking for Paula Jean Swearengin
May, 6 from 2 PM - 5 PM

All Upcoming Events Host An Event for Paula Jean Swearengin