From the Jesse Johnson for Senate campaign:
CHARLESTON, WV: Mountain Party candidate Jesse Johnson, who is running to fill Robert C. Byrd’s vacant U.S. Senate seat, has won endorsements from historical heavyweights Senator Mike Gravel (D-AK) and Congressman Ken Hechler (D-WV). In West Virginia, the Mountain Party is the affiliate of the Green Party of the United States.
As U.S. Senator, Mike Gravel earned his reputation as a maverick for having the courage to read the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record, a major turning point in America’s involvement in the Vietnam War. Senator Gravel was also responsible for authoring and/or sponsoring virtually every major piece of environmental legislation during his tenure.
Says Gravel, “Jesse is not beholden to the special interests that are doing the exploitation in West Virginia. You want to vote for Jesse Johnson, because when he’s there, he will represent your interests, day in and day out, and he’s got the courage to do it.”
Congressman Ken Hechler was also regarded as a maverick. In 1965, he was the only member of Congress to march with Dr. Martin Luther King at Selma, Alabama. Hechler authored the landmark Coal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1969, credited for saving the lives of countless WV coal miners. Venerated as the elder statesman of the anti-surface mining movement since the 1960’s, Hechler has participated in numerous protests near mountaintop removal mining sites in the West Virginia coalfields.
Putting aside partisan politics, Hechler, a Democrat, praised Johnson for his “moral compass” and stated that he was the ultimate solution for West Virginians.
Additionally, Jesse Johnson has received an endorsement from Charlotte Pritt, who made history as the first woman ever from a major party in West Virginia to win a gubernatorial nomination.
The Sierra Club of WV has also endorsed Johnson.
A link to Senator Gravel’s endorsement video can be found at http://vimeo.com/16367048.