Anna Johnson Gates

Charleston Gazette
July 16, 1922

Normalcy Sick, Mrs. Gates Will Run for House

Charleston Woman Seeks to Represent Local District In Legislature; Favors "Back to Wilsonism"

Issues Statement Setting Forth Views

Declaring herself to be in favor of the policies of Woodrow Wilson, good roads, education, child welfare, the defense of the good name of the state of West Virginia, the enforcement of the Volstead act, tax reform, a curbing of the appointment of boards and commissions, the dignity of labor as well as that of capital and a proper respect for the law by both Mrs. Tom Gates, of Broad street yesterday announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the West Virginia house of delegates subject to the August primary election.

Her statement follows:

"My name having been suggested at the Democratic conference for the house of delegates from Kanawha county, I am a candidate for the nomination. I hope that no one will vote for me solely because I am a woman - women and men must work together for the public good; and if we divide according to sex no progress can be made. The men gave the ballot to the women supposing that we would help them to solves [sic] the country's problems. We should accept the trust, not merely to secure office for women but to be of service to our country and state.

I would not consider myself a good Democrat unless I were a firm believer in the policies of Woodrow Wilson and unless I felt sure that I endorse all his splendid record. In so far as the national questions may be involved in my duties as a legislator, I am, without qualification, a Woodrow Wilson supporter.

I am in favor of good roads, broad and liberal support to education and child welfare, and the defense of the good name of this state and its institutions. I am for prohibition of the liquor traffic, and for good faith enforcement of the letter and spirit of the national and state constitutions on that subject and for all laws passed to carry out these constitutional provisions including the Volstead act. I am also for home rule, that is a wholesome recognition of the doctrine of the fathers that, except where the power has been otherwise delegated, each state, each county and each neighborhood is the best judge of its own domestic affairs.

Taxation has become burdensome, due to extravagance. Therefore, I am for reducing expense and for ferreting out graft and making it impossible, as well as for strict economy. We must curb the tendency to create boards and commissions and return to the simple processes of the fathers wherever the nature of the subject permits.

I believe in the dignity of labor and its just right to a fair return for services rendered and its right to organize, but labor, as well as capital, must obey the law. These are not mere words to generalize an acute situation, but my honest sentiments and no act or vote of mine will ever knowingly violate the letter and spirit of my words. My whole heart is in the work of building up our industries and in having industrial peace. I want to help the women and the men in true service to this county, my native satte [sic] and this blessed country.

Women must recognize that every political question has a history. This history was made before women had a vote. We must be sensible and take up these [q]uestions where we found them. The question of meat and bread; the revival of business; the starting up of factories and mines are all involved in matters of finance and economics. These are the important matters and on them I believe my party to be right and will act with it. We can do little that is permanent in uplift work while industry is prostrated and agriculture is discouraged - I want to see some more Woodrow Wilson 'good times' - I am sick and tired of 'normalcy'.

My work, if nominated, will not be confined to the selfish task of being elected, but to the larger one of condemning high taxes, 'deflation' and the inefficiency which has in two years changed a prosperous, happy people into a discouraged, unemployed, unhappy people. To be elected in nothing, but to help in our splendid cause is a work that deeply interests me. I hope to be nominated so that I can help make a healthy change."


West Virginia Archives and History