A coal miner’s daughter from Mullens, West Virginia is running against current Senator Joe Manchin for his seat in the upcoming election.
Paula Jean Swearengin says a daughter and grand daughter of coal miners, she has always felt a deep sense of pride in the state’s dominant industry.
She left the area with her family during part of her childhood, and when she returned after high school, she saw entire communities left in the dust when the mines shut down.
She saw small businesses drying up, miners and their children struggling with diseases brought on by the industry, and a whole generation looking to find reliable and safe jobs that would pay the bills.
Swearengin is a single mom of four boys, and she has vowed to change the state of affairs in West Virginia.
She believes there is not enough economic diversity in the state, and she would love to see a universal healthcare plan, more education opportunities, and hydro power.
“West Virginia has been suffering for a long time. We’ve seen high wage manufacturing and coal jobs evolve into low-wage service jobs. And I think that we need growth. It’s very important for this state,” Swearengin said.
Swearengin says it’s time for the working class to have working class representation.
During here time in the Northern Panhandle, she has met with union workers at both Tecocap and Frontier.
You can connect with her on social media by searching “Paula Jean 2018” on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. She also has a website.