Photo caption: Kanawha Democrat Doug Skaff (right) resigned from the House of Delegates Friday. WV Legislative Photography. Photo by Perry Bennett.
Says he’s considering switching parties, running for statewide office
BY: LORI KERSEY – SEPTEMBER 8, 2023 5:24 PM
Kanawha County Democrat Doug Skaff has resigned from the House of Delegates. Skaff was the House minority leader until last month, when he resigned the leadership position, saying he intended to take a few weeks to decide his political future.
Skaff said Friday he had contemplated resigning from the House last month, but chose to give new minority leader Del. Sean Hornbuckle time to transition into the role.
“I thought it was appropriate to do it now before [Legislative] interims start,” Skaff said. “So we can start the ball rolling. Step down as a Democrat. I was elected a Democrat. That was the right thing to do to give us plenty of time to appoint a replacement.”
During a phone interview with West Virginia Watch last month, Skaff said, despite rumors, he did not have plans to run for Secretary of State or switch his party registration to Republican.
On Friday, he walked back those comments and said he is contemplating switching parties and also running for statewide office.
“I’ve had meetings with both sides,” Skaff said. “…People recruit me all the time to run for state Senate, for Secretary of State, for Auditor, Treasurer, I’ve been asked the last four years or so, ‘why don’t you run for this? Or ‘why don’t you run for that?’ Every two years I get asked to run for state Senate, both Democrat or Republican. I’ve been a moderate conservative, middle-of-the road type of guy. I can probably relate with both parties on certain issues.”
Skaff said he would take the next month to decide his next steps.
Skaff is president of HD Media, a newspaper chain that includes the Charleston Gazette-Mail and Huntington Herald-Dispatch. He’s also vice president of his family’s business, Skaff Family Limited Company, and owner and managing partner of Building & Remodeling Warehouse in Nitro.
“I”m not blowing smoke here – I love to serve. I love to be in politics, but it’s been a lot,” Skaff said. “It’s been a lot serving in this role at the newspaper, and we keep adding more papers.
“And so I’m trying to focus on this and get everything in order here, and I will take the next month or so or however long it takes to decide if I’m contemplating running for anything this next cycle,” Skaff said.
Skaff previously served in the House from 2009-2014. He was elected in 2018 and reelected in 2022. He was one of only 11 Democrats in the 100-member state House of Delegates. Of the 34 members of the state Senate, there are three Democrats and 31 Republicans.
In a statement Friday, Democratic Party Chairman Del. Mike Pushkin (D-Kanawha) acknowledged the “struggle” Skaff, a father of young children, has had to find enough hours in the day. He said he appreciated the opportunity to work with Skaff.
“I’m grateful for the chance to know him as a friend and a colleague,” Pushkin said in the statement. “I’m sure I speak for all my colleagues in the House when I say we wish him the very best in all his future business endeavors.”
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