Zach Shrewsbury faces an improbable task to replace the conservative Democrat in the face of a Republican onslaught – but he won’t be put off

To launch his campaign for US Senate, Zach Shrewsbury chose the site of one of America’s most famous hangings.

Charles Town, West Virginia, was where state authorities executed the abolitionist John Brown after he led an attack on a federal armory a few miles down the road in Harpers Ferry, a pivotal moment in the lead-up to the civil war. One hundred and sixty four years later, Shrewsbury – who decided against attempting to get a permit for the event at the site of the insurrection, which is now a national park – stood on the courthouse grounds where Brown’s hanging took place to announce that he would be the only “real Democrat” running to represent West Virginia in the Senate next year.

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