On Sunday, Dec. 4, Stephen Baldwin was sworn in to the WV House of Delegates. Justice Robin Davis administered the oath on the floor of the House chamber in the capitol building as Baldwin’s family surrounded him in support.
He was emotional thinking back to his first visit to the capitol as an elementary school student. “I’ve always dreamed of being able to help our state in this way, and now to have that opportunity is an awesome, humbling responsibility,” he said.
Baldwin was the top vote-getter in the Nov. 8 election, receiving 7,422 votes. He ran a positive, issue-focused campaign. He made waves by being the only candidate in the state to refuse all special interest money. He was also one of the few Democrats to win on election night.
Asked why that was the case, Baldwin said, “Because around here we vote for the person we trust to do the job. We want leaders who share our values, are involved in our community, and work hard to find solutions to problems. We are West Virginians first.”
Baldwin will serve alongside returning incumbent Delegate George “Boogie” Ambler. He looks forward to the opportunity. “Boogie is a personable guy who works hard for his constituents. We’ll work together well,” Baldwin said.
The night of his swearing in, Baldwin spent time with outgoing Delegate Ray Canterbury at the capitol. Baldwin spoke highly of him. “Ray is a neighbor and a friend. He has been an absolute gentleman in this transition process. We all owe him a debt of gratitude for his years of service to the valley.”
Baldwin is pastor of Ronceverte Presbyterian Church and will continue his church service. This winter, the legislative session officially begins on Feb. 8, 2017. Baldwin plans to hold community forums in late January to learn how he can help local folks as a legislator this session.