W.Va. Republican Party hires executive director

PARKERSBURG – The West Virginia Republican Party has hired a new executive director.

William Ward Wyatt will succeed Chad Holland, whose contract expired.

“I am honored with the opportunity to help chairman Conrad Lucas and the West Virginia Republican Party elect a Republican to the United States Senate and gain a Republican majority in the West Virginia House of Delegates for the first time since 1928,” Wyatt said.

Wyatt is a native of Texas whose family has been involved in Republican politics. His mother was a county party chairman in Texas and his father, Joseph P. Wyatt Jr., was a longtime U.S. representative.

“I really like him,” said Rocky Peck, a vice chairman of the state party.

Peck, who said Wyatt’s nickname is 3 Dub, participated in the interviews. He expects Wyatt to be effective in managing the state office and organizing the county parties.

“I’m looking for big things out of him,” Peck said.

Wyatt will start in February when the next session of the Legislature convenes, according to Lucas.

He managed the campaign for Kent Leonhardt for commissioner of agriculture, Leonhardt was defeated in the general election by Walt Helmick, a Democrat.

Wyatt was an aide to state Rep. Stefani Carter, the first African-American female Republican in the Texas House of Representatives. Prior to moving to West Virginia, he also was a legislative aide to state Rep. Harvey Hilderbran, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.

He has a degree in government and business from the University of Texas at Austin.

Wyatt will be an asset to the party, Lucas said.

“Ward brings a wealth of knowledge of modern campaign tactics as well as strong experience working with state legislators that will be invaluable as we look to the 2014 election cycle,” Lucas said.

Wyatt was appreciative of the confidence in him.

“The future begins now and I’m excited to bring my energy and skill set to assist Chairman Lucas in strengthening the West Virginia Republican Party so we can accomplish our goals for 2014,” Wyatt said.

The Republican Party has had at least three executive directors since 2009. Holland, who came from Georgia, became director in February 2011, succeeding Troy Berman, who was hired in 2009. Berman graduated from the University of Maryland and Washington and Lee University School of Law.