Blog Posts > Fewer Than 2% of US State Lawmakers Belong to the Working Class, Leaving Business Owners to Shape Public Policy
November 2, 2022

Fewer Than 2% of US State Lawmakers Belong to the Working Class, Leaving Business Owners to Shape Public Policy

Observer – On weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., JohnBoy Palmer works as a serviceman for Hope Gas in Monongah, West Virginia. He spends his days turning on home heating gas for new residents, and responding when customers suspect a leak.

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When he gets off work, Palmer, 36, begins campaigning for the vacant seat in West Virginia’s House of Delegates 74th District. He knocks on doors, hands out leaflets and tries to raise money in his first run for the state house.

Palmer—a Democrat who got his nickname as a Little League baseball player to distinguish him from his father, the coach—is running against Mike DeVault, a Republican business owner from a neighboring town. Palmer doesn’t have a lot of time to campaign, and has scrambled to raise money.

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