Tennant & Warren stump in Shepherdstown
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D- Mass) joined 2014 senatorial candidate and current West Virginia Secretary of State, Natalie Tennant, on the campaign trail in Shepherdstown on Monday.
More than 400 local residents turned out to the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center for the nearly two-hour rally, which included remarks from both Tennant and Warren on the host of issues Tennant calls “priority.”
On par with Warren’s central national message, discussion Monday centered on socioeconomic issues affecting everyday citizens.
Student Loan debt, unemployment benefits, workers’ rights and corporate accountability were all featured topics.
Tennant spoke following remarks from Jefferson County Sheriff Peter Dougherty and local resident and student Ashley Hawkins.
“Today’s student are tomorrow’s worker,” Tennant said offering her support for Warren’s recent effort to pass a U.S. Senate Bill directed at reducing interest rates on student loan debt.
“This race is about our minimum wage workers,” Tennant said, affirming her commitment to protect women in particular, who she said make up 2/3 of the minimum wage workers West Virginia.
Tennant said she also plans to fight for West Virginia workers who lost unemployment issuance as a result of federal budget revisions.
Tennant characterized Washington lawmakers as “dysfunctional.”
“My number one priority as senator is to bring good paying jobs to the mountain state,” she said.
Support from a boisterous crowd was tempered during a discussion of coal, with some in the audience demonstrating open disagreement with Tennant’s continued support of coal mining and natural gas fracking.
Tennant is running to fill the senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Jay Rockefeller.
Considered a long-shot by some, Tennant will face off against republican candidate and long-time house member, Shelley Moore Capito.
In her remarks Sen. Elizabeth Warren stressed the many contrasts between Tennant and Capito, who she said, “stands up for wall street,” ahead of main street.
“When they need her, she’s been there.”
Warren said she was glad to be campaigning for Tennant in Shepherdstown.
“What I like about Natalie, is she’s ready to fight,” she said.
“Natalie Tennant and I do not agree on every issue. But on the core issue. On the issue that is about our values. On the issue that defines us as human beings. Natalie and I agree. Our job is to fight for the families of America,” she said.
In a call to arms, Warren challenged local residents to fight for the democratic hopeful by volunteering their time and resources.
“You can make phone calls. You can hold signs. You can talk to the people standing behind you in line at the grocery store.”
“When we talk about elections, we talk about something sacred.” Warren said.
“It’s about our values.”
Tennant said she was encouraged by the strong turnout for the event.
“Look at this room. We’re going to win this race,” she said.