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CHARLESTON — Planned Parenthood Votes! South Atlantic (PPVSAT), the separately incorporated political arm of the reproductive health nonprofit, announced its first slate of endorsed candidates in the 2020 West Virginia primary election. Topping that list are endorsements of Democrats Stephen Smith for governor and Sam Petsonk for attorney general.

The group cites Smith’s leadership in the midst of the current public health crisis as a demonstration of his commitment to improving health outcomes for all West Virginians.

“The Coronavirus response page on Smith’s website was live and available to West Virginians before any state response, and he has converted his entire campaign infrastructure to checking in on residents across the state and helping connect them to what they need — be it food, masks or help applying for unemployment,” the group wrote in a news release.

“As Governor, Stephen Smith has pledged his support for common-sense measures in the midst of this public health crisis, including increasing access to affordable health care and paid family and medical leave,” said Alisa Clements, West Virginia director of public affairs for Planned Parenthood South Atlantic.

In addition to Smith and Petsonk, PPVSAT also announced endorsements of five pro-reproductive health incumbents: Delegates Danielle Walker, Sammi Brown, Evan Hansen, Rodney Pyles, and Barbara Fleischauer. The full list of candidate endorsements can be found at https://bit.ly/2yJYkFY

NRA-PVF endorses Jim Justice for re-election

CHARLESTON — The National Rifle Association of America’s Political Victory Fund, the political action committee of the National Rifle Association (NRA), has announced the endorsement of incumbent Gov. Jim Justice in the 2020 Republican primary.

“On behalf of NRA members in West Virginia, I am pleased to announce your NRA-PVF ‘A’ rating and endorsement for the 2020 West Virginia Primary Election. This endorsement is a reflection of your steadfast support of the Second Amendment and demonstrated leadership on Second Amendment issues during your tenure as Governor,” said Art Thomm, State Director, NRA-ILA State and Local Affairs.

Justice is a lifelong outdoorsman and hunter who, according to the group, has worked to protect Second Amendment rights, protect and increase access to public hunting lands, and make West Virginia a hunting and fishing destination.

“Our members will interpret your ‘A’ rating endorsement as being a solid pro-gun/pro-hunting candidate who is an advocate for the Right to Keep and Bear arms,” said Thomm.

Election information

Primary election dates and deadlines in West Virginia have changed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

May 19 is now the voter registration deadline.

Early voting at county courthouses or designated locations will take place May 27 to June 6, during normal business hours and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Registered voters are also being sent post cards asking whether they would like an absentee ballot rather than voting in person.

Primary Election Day is now June 9, 2020. For more information, visit sos.wv.gov.

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