CHARLESTON, WVA – The Great Hall at the WV Culture Center on Thursday evening was crowded and standing room only as Kris Warner, a longstanding Republican leader, officially declared his candidacy for Secretary of State. The event drew nearly 200 attendees, representing at least 39 out of the 55 counties in the state.
Warner, a former WVGOP Chairman, Republican National Committeeman, and Trump-appointed USDA State Director for West Virginia, delivered a passionate speech outlining his commitment to West Virginia’s values and his vision for the Secretary of State’s office.
Warner began his speech by praising West Virginia’s county clerk system, asserting that the state had set an example for the nation with secure and efficient elections, in contrast to the challenges faced by other states. He celebrated West Virginia’s climb in national rankings and attributed it to the state’s emphasis on public service, family values, and common sense.
“These are the same qualities that define us as Republicans,” Warner asserted. “Our political beliefs are rooted in a sense of duty, starting at home where we teach our children right from wrong, respect our laws and law enforcement officers, and value family. These are the principles that guide us, just as they did for our forefathers.”
After months of contemplation and prayer with his wife Joyce and their children, Warner announced his candidacy for Secretary of State, a decision he described as deeply rooted in his family’s commitment to military and public service. He acknowledged his brother Mac’s exceptional work as the current Secretary of State, particularly in cleaning up voter rolls and combating election fraud.
“I will continue that good work,” Warner declared, emphasizing his dedication to maintaining the integrity of West Virginia’s elections.
Drawing on his experience as the Trump-appointed USDA State Director and his leadership in the Economic Development Authority under Governor Justice’s administration, Warner highlighted his success in fostering economic growth and business opportunities in the state. He acknowledged the challenges posed by West Virginia’s mountainous landscape but underscored the resilience and character of its people.
“As Secretary of State, I will stand up for West Virginians’ rights, ensure fair and honest elections, and resist federal overreach,” Warner asserted. “I will make it easier for citizens and business owners to interact with the state while making it harder for those who seek to cheat the system.”
In a rallying call against RINOs (Republicans In Name Only), Warner denounced individuals who, he claimed, compromise Republican values for personal gain. He pledged to protect West Virginian values, noting he had fought as a Republican leader for more than 25 years and couldn’t turn it over to a “neophyte” or someone who had “worn the other team’s jersey just days ago.”
Previous polling from WV Statewide had shown Warner with a sizeable lead among other likely candidates. West Virginians can anticipate a spirited and closely watched race that will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the state’s political landscape.