Historic Leadership Transition in West Virginia’s Democratic Party: Delegate Sean Hornbuckle Becomes First Black Person to Hold House Minority Leader Position in West Virginia

In a momentous leadership transition, West Virginia’s Democratic Party welcomes a new trailblazer at the helm. West Virginia Delegate Sean Hornbuckle (D-Cabell), a pillar in the community and a man of integrity, has been elected as the House of Delegates minority leader. 

This historic appointment makes him the first Black lawmaker to hold such a prominent position in the state’s predominantly white legislature.

Hornbuckle’s political journey began in 2009 when he was elected student body president at Marshall University, immersing himself in various campus experiences and building the foundation for his future in public service. His commitment to unity, strength of character and a bold yet pragmatic approach have distinguished him as an influential leader within Cabell County and beyond.

As the new minority leader, Hornbuckle will replace Delegate Doug Skaff Jr., who has served with dedication as the House minority leader since 2020. Skaff, who is also president of HD Media, expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to work with Republican Speaker of the House Roger Hanshaw to deliver common-sense solutions for the people of West Virginia. He spoke highly of Hornbuckle, referring to him as a strong leader, delegate and friend.

Hornbuckle’s impressive record includes serving on multiple committees like education accountability, economic development, and tourism. In this new leadership role, he aims to continue advocating for unity, understanding, and the rich history of West Virginia’s educational institutions.

Hornbuckle’s political elevation is part of a broader trend toward increased representation of marginalized communities within the state’s political landscape. His appointment echoes the historic achievements of other Black political figures, such as:

Elizabeth Simpson Drewry: In 1950, she became the first African American woman to be elected to the West Virginia legislature, serving eight terms in the House of Delegates.

Harry Jheopart Capehart Sr.: Served as a West Virginia House of Delegates member, representing McDowell County for three consecutive terms from 1919 to 1925.

John V. Coleman: Served in the West Virginia House of Delegates in 1920 and was one of four African Americans elected to represent Fayette County in the House from 1896 to 1918.

Marie Redd: In 1998, she defeated the incumbent Republican, Tom Scott, becoming the first African American state senator in West Virginia history.

As West Virginia’s Democratic Party embraces this historic leadership change, it marks a significant step forward in promoting diversity and inclusivity in the state’s government. 

Hornbuckle’s dedication to the betterment of Cabell County and West Virginia as a whole has earned him the trust and respect of his colleagues, who eagerly anticipate the positive impact he will make as a minority leader.

With his passion for the community and commitment to uplifting others, Hornbuckle is poised to leave a lasting legacy of progress and representation in West Virginia’s political history.

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