Mother, farmer, and combat veteran Amanda Vincent launches bid to be Hampshire County’s next Delegate

by Matthew Young, RealWV

Amanda Vincent is many things: a mother, a wife, a farmer, and a combat veteran of the war in Afghanistan. The Florida-native-turned-West-Virginia-resident is dedicated to her family, her state, and her country. And at just 30-years-old, Amanda Vincent is something else: a Democratic candidate for the West Virginia House of Delegates.

“Roe v. Wade was my biggest motivator,” Vincent said, while speaking with RealWV on Thursday about her candidacy. “After being in Afghanistan, I thought about all of the things I’ve sacrificed for this country just to come back and see that my right to control my own body was taken away. That was really devastating to me.”

Now seeking election in House District 88, which represents portions of Hampshire and Mineral Counties, Vincent has spent the nearly two-years since the overturning of Roe v. Wade advocating for the rights of women, and organizing within her community.

“I co-founded a group in Hampshire County, and we protested in front of the courthouse,” Vincent said. “We actually had a lot of support which I was not expecting.”

According to Vincent, her advocacy work culminated in a lengthy “veteran to veteran” conversation with then Republican House candidate Rick Hillenbrand, who would go on to win unopposed election to the seat. 

“Obviously he (Hillenbrand) was very much for it (overturning of Roe v. Wade),” Vincent explained. “That sparked it for me. I said, ‘Okay, well this man doesn’t represent me.’ I didn’t really like that – I don’t like somebody trying to control my body.”

Once Vincent began to look deeper, she explained, she discovered numerous other issues she was dissatisfied with. Vincent said she felt compelled to get involved. 

“I feel like I have the strength and the ability to do this,” Vincent said. “I know a lot of people my age are struggling to survive. I have the privilege, and I can do this – so I’m going to do it.”

“If nothing else, he’s (Hillenbrand) going to have a fight,” Vincent added. “He didn’t have one last time, and that’s what democracy is about.”

Similar to other races around West Virginia, as a Democratic challenger, Vincent finds herself fighting out of the corner. However, Vincent says that the concerns of everyday West Virginians transcend political affiliations. 

“Locally, we just want housing,” Vincent said. “We want our internet to work, and I think just talking to people about these things is really going to help. Even if I don’t win, I’m hoping that the goal post will get closer and closer.”

“A lot of people, they see the word ‘Democrat,’ and they see everything going on at the national level,” Vincent continued, “They see inflation, and they say, ‘You’re trying to destroy the country and take away my guns.’ Well I learned how to shoot a gun, and I had to qualify every six months. We have guns (in my home).”

“There were signs around here in 2022 that said, ‘If you like guns, vote Republican,’” Vincent added. “I’m trying my hardest to make that sign no longer make sense. I’m a Democrat and I own guns. I’ve also trained very heavily with guns.”

Vincent and her husband, also a United States Army veteran, relocated with their son to West Virginia in early 2022. 

“I love this area,” Vincent said. “I came here to farm. We bought land here, and we love it. I just wish that the love I have for this place and the people here was matched by what our state government is doing. If we don’t stand up and fight, there’s going to be nowhere to go.”

An advocate for sustainable farming practices and current member of the Hampshire County Farmers Market Association, Vincent says her campaign will focus on the needs of small farms and local businesses within her community. In addition, Vincent hopes to shine a light on disparities within the healthcare industry, racial justice, and the treatment of the LGBTQ+ community.

“Another big one is education, especially in Hampshire County,” Vincent said. “There aren’t a lot of special education teachers, and there’s not a lot of help. […] That’s one thing I would love to tackle. Of course I would like to see teachers make a lot more money. At this point I think that’s probably the only thing that would make us competitive and make people want to come here.”

“I want us to be number one in education,” Vincent added. “That would be the end goal.”

To learn more about Amanda Vincent’s campaign for the House of Delegates, visit her website, at amandavincentforwv.com. In addition, Vincent will be participating in a candidate event at 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 13. The event will take place at the Bottling Works Event Center, located at 426 E. Main Street in Romney.

As the only Democrat to have filed candidacy, Vincent will not face a challenger in the primaries. However, Primary Election Day in West Virginia is Tuesday, May 14. General Election Day is Tuesday, November 5.

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