HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – A democratic candidate has thrown his hat into the ring for the West Virginia 2024 governor’s race.

Huntington mayor Steve Williams announced he plans to file to run in the race at the United Mine Workers of America annual Labor Day Rally and Picnic in Boone County on Sept. 4, 2023. So far, he is the first known democratic candidate to enter the race.

Williams says he has been thinking about running for months. He has served as the mayor of Huntington for the past 10-and-a-half years, and before that, he served eight years in the house of delegates.

Many also credit Williams for helping the Jewel City out of financial troubles and dealing with the opioid epidemic. Another highlight of his career is when Huntington was declared “America’s Best Community” in 2017. He says he’s ready to be West Virginia’s governor.

“To the folks in the crowd, I said, ‘I’m the grandson of two coal miners, and I’m standing on their shoulders,’ and I wanted them to know this grandson of two coal miners is going to be running for governor next year,” Williams said.

Williams tells WOWK 13 News he will officially be filing the paperwork to run in the first week of October.

The Republican side of the race currently includes Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, Secretary of State Mac Warner, businessman Chris Miller, day-care owner Rashida Yost, President of Saving WV Wildlife Terri Bradshaw, and House Judiciary Chairman Moore Capito.