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West Virginia Republican who mocked striking teachers loses re-election — thanks to teachers

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A Republican state senator in West Virginia has lost re-election after opposing the state’s teacher strike and claiming the educators were holding children “hostage” in their protests for pay increases.

The Intercept reported Friday that state Sen. Robert Karnes was a longtime union opponent, and in March expressed pessimism about the political impact the largest teacher’s strike in the country would have.

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“I can’t say that it will have zero effect,” Karnes told the Charleston Gazette-Mail during the strike, “but I don’t think it’ll have any significant effect because, more often than not, they probably weren’t voting on the Republican side of the aisle anyways.”

Karnes was challenged in the state’s GOP primary by state Delegate Bill Hamilton, a rare Republican that sympathized with the teacher’s strike and opposes “right-to-work” laws. Unions responded financially, raising more than $10,000 for the state Senate race and making up a substantial portion of his total $53,850 raised for his campaign.

Shortly before Hamilton officially beat Karnes 5,787 to 3,749, the report noted, the incumbent took to Twitter with conspiratorial comments, joking that it’s a “good thing” his region is “short on socialists” and later that there “could be lot of hanging chads” as the votes were tallied, a reference to the 2000 recount in the presidential race between George W. Bush and Al Gore.

“Most of Bill’s supporters have never seen a Republican ballot,” Karnes tweeted just before losing the race.

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Under West Virginia law, voters must either be unaffiliated or belong to a specific party to vote in their primary. West Virginia teacher Edwina Howard-Jack, one of the teachers who went on strike that lives in Karnes’ district, told The Intercept that many teachers changed their registration to unaffiliated to vote the anti-union incumbent out.

“Teachers showed up and they were voting in their 55 united, 55 strong shirts,” she said, referencing one of the strikers’ slogans. “Once the results started rolling in, it was phenomenal. Teachers were really empowered to say, if we stick together we can make a difference.”

“I heard one teacher today say,” Howard-Jack joked, “after yesterday they may want to think twice about arming teachers.”

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Oklahoma police searching for man who shot Taco Bell employee in dispute over the drive-thru

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Police are searching for a man who allegedly shot a Taco Bell employee early Saturday morning.

"The employee was shot in the leg after asking the customer to pull forward in the drive-thru," KFOR-TV reported Saturday. "The customer argued, but eventually pulled forward, and that’s when he pulled out a gun and shot the employee."

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Dick Cheney raising money for Trump’s re-election — with White House staffers Ivanka and Jared: report

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Former Vice President Dick Cheney is raising money for President Donald Trump's re-election at a fundraiser in a ritzy western resort town.

"Former vice president Richard B. Cheney and his daughter, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), are to appear at a lunch fundraiser Monday in support of President Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee, according to an invitation to the event," The Washington Post reported Saturday. "The luncheon fundraiser in Jackson, Wyo., will feature White House advisers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, along with acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney as 'special guests,' according to the invitation, which was obtained by The Washington Post."

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‘Go back to Harlem!’: Florida woman has n-word laced meltdown after bumping black woman’s shopping cart

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On Saturday, the Atlanta Black Star reported an incident in Florida, in which a white woman screamed racial slurs at a black woman at a Publix supermarket in Miami after their shopping carts jostled each other.

After the woman allegedly banged into Nicki Johnson's cart, she refused to apologize, saying, "I didn't hit you with my cart, and f**k you,  you f**king n****r."

Johnson whipped out her cell phone camera, and began recording the incident, saying "You, why don't you call me a n****r again?"

"You thinking I'm sorry?" snapped the woman. "Let me tell you something, I don't have to call you anything. Get away from me, I will call security and there are surveillance videos. Get away from me!"

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