Bo Copley: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Jimmy “Bo” Copley, the laid-off West Virginia coal miner who famously confronted Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign after her comment about putting coal miners “out of business,” has launched a campaign to become a U.S. Senator. He’ll be running as a Republican, with hopes of beating incumbent Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat, in 2018.

The 40-year-old Copley is married to his wife Lauren Copley. They have three young children – Charlotte, Merritt and Elliott.

Here’s what you need to know about Copley and his famous encounter with Clinton.

1. Copley & His Wife Decided to Run for Senate After He Received a Letter From a Man in Arizona

Copley announced his plans to run for U.S. Senate in a video posted on his Facebook page. Appearing alongside his wife, Lauren, the two said they spent months praying and “seeking God’s will for our future, for our family, and looking for a direction that He may be moving us in.” He said that they felt they received the “confirmation from God” that running for Senate is the direction Copley should go.

Copley frequently talked about “us” running for Senate instead of just himself. He said that they believe that God isn’t going to ask him to do anything without Lauren’s full support.

He said that one day, they knelt to pray and asked God about running for Senate. It was something they joked about at first and thought it was “way above anything we could have expected.” But the next day, they heard about a letter sent to Lauren’s old studio address. It was a letter from a man in Arizona who praised him and thought he should run for office in West Virginia. They took this as God’s answer to their prayers and he should run for Senate.

2. Copley Describes Himself as the ‘Exact Opposite’ of Joe Manchin

In an interview with West Virginia Metro News, Copley said he is the “exact opposite” of Senator Joe Manchin. Manchin has been criticized by members of his own party for often voting with Republicans. He voted to confirm controversial Trump cabinet picks like Jeff Sessions, Rex Tillerson and Scott Pruitt.

Copley told the Metro News that seeing Manchin support Clinton during the 2016 campaign also influenced his decision to run for office.

“I want my kids to be able to grow up here and say ‘I want to make a living, but I don’t want to work in a coal mine.’ Well, guess what? You have options,” he told the Metro News. “I strongly feel like I may be able to make a connection somewhere where we can help bring in other kind of economic opportunities.”

Copley also calls the other possible Republican candidates for the Senate seat “career politicians.” Congressman Evan Jenkins and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey are expected to run for the GOP nomination.

“I think my story resonates with the people in this state because I think most people in this state have led the same types of things in the last couple of years,” Copley told the Metro News. “You walk a mile in someone else’s shoes — you tend to fight for that person a little harder than what you might have in the past and I think I wear the same shoes as a lot of people.”

3. Copley Gave Hillary Clinton a Picture of His Kids & Confronted Her in Person

In March 2016, Clinton said during a Town Hall meeting that her administration was “going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”

Even though West Virginia hadn’t voted for a Democratic Presidential candidate since 1996, Clinton still visited the state in May 2016. During a meeting in Williamson, West Virginia, Copley met Clinton and even sat across from her at a table. He gave her a picture of his children and wondered how she could make a comment like that and then “come in here and tell us how you’re going to be our friend.”

“Those people out there don’t see you as a friend,” Copley added, referring to the protests outside the meeting.

What I said was totally out of context from what I meant because I have been talking about helping coal country for a very long time,” Clinton told Copley, notes NBC News. “What I was saying is that the way things are going now, we will continue to lose jobs. That’s what I meant to say.”

Clinton said it was a “misstatement,” and Copley accepted Clinton’s apology. However, at that point, he still hadn’t made up his mind to vote for Clinton or Trump.

“I’m not into political games. I’m not worried about the primary,” Copley told NBC News. “I want to hear the plans you have in store for us if you do get elected.”

Copley’s meeting with Clinton thrust him into the national spotlight, like 2008’s Joe The Plumber. In October 2016, he was even called to testify before a Senate committee the impact of the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations on West Virginia.

4. He Praised Donald Trump’s Executive Order That Rolled Back Obama Environmental Protections

Copley, who voted for President Donald Trump, told Yahoo News in March 2017 that he thought Trump’s “Presidential Executive Order on Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth” was a “good start” towards Trump fulfilling his promise to get coal miners back to work.

“I don’t know the far-reaching scope on everything that it entails but I do think that a lot of people here do view it as a way for him to try to hold up to his end of his promises that he made on the campaign trail,” Copley told Yahoo News.

Copley further explained that many in the coal industry believed that President Barack Obama’s environmental protection regulations unfairly targeted them.

“For us it would have been better to try to bring other energies in a little at a time,” Copley told the website. “We just felt like to come in and completely try to stomp out coal made us feel like we were completely targeted instead of trying to let these other energies become more viable, actually more competitive.”

The executive order called on the Secretary of the Interior to “amend or withdraw” the January 2016 order on a moratorium for federal land coal leasing. “The Secretary shall commence Federal coal leasing activities consistent with all applicable laws and regulations,” the executive order reads.

5. Copley Still Doesn’t Have a New Job

Copley is still out of work. According to Lifezette, he worked as a coal miner for 11 years before he was laid-off in September 2015. His wife works as a photographer and runs her own business.

Copley told Lifezette that his relatives all want him to run for office. However, he still wouldn’t commit to it unless God gave him the go-ahead.

“My aunt texted me at the Franklin Graham event [the West Virginia Decision America tour stop] after Graham said Christians need to run for office. She said to me, ‘You need to run,’” Copley told Lifezette in November 2016. “People have said, ‘You should run for school board,’ but I don’t want to put God in a box.”

“I’m hopeful about the future,” Copley also told the site. “I think a lot of our leaders now are looking for positions of stature and power — but they are supposed to be elected servants. A lot of our leaders have lost sight of that — that they are there to serve.”


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Having faith is a beautiful thing but some of the questions he’s going to be asked and people there are wanting answers now, “Um We’re just trusting in God” isn’t going to cut it. Also the fact that he’s a coal mine?…easy with that one, the guy worked in an office job at a surface mine. Actual coal miners (myself included) have spent more time using the restroom underground then “Miner Bo” has worked in. West Virginia’s (Not Virginia or Western Virginia) has a lot bigger than coal, especially southern WV, that area in particular has always been 5-10 years behind the rest of the country since I can remember (Born and raised since 1983). I wouldn’t doubt it if Bo thinks you could “pray the gay away”. That being said, good luck bud….=)


what an idiot on coal. Bet if there was enough out of job horse and carriage riders voters. He’ll fight to bring back there jobs.


Learn how to spell moron and your self flattery of your stupidity is grateful…thx Libtard


Ha, ha, ha!… but, I wouldn’t call him a Libtard!… a TARD would have been enough (and… no offense to those who are “genetically mentally disadvantaged!)!!
Pat!… when you read Copley’s comments carefully, he’s remaining “politically openminded”, and wants to give his children some NEW OPTIONS!… and so, in that regard, he’s being Liberal! Nevertheless!… and as I’ve said!… Virginia can morph mining through 3D PRINTING; and thereby, save jobs, and families! And all TARD is thinking, is that Copley wants to live in the past! But you and I realize, that Copley wants options for Virginia!… and he doesn’t want families to be living pain! I wish him well!… and I don’t give a sh*t about HIS “politics”! And TARD can go back to his TSL classes (i.e., Thinking as a Second Language!)!
Please!… no emails!


@JOHN MAYOR Cheers for the disagreement and your reason for doing so. Don’t mind the name calling as long as you’ve got a reason.

I didn’t see him as “politically openminded”, more like “privately open-minded”. He wants new options for his children. I’m suspect he’s not gonna campaign on those options, cause if he did he’ll end up sounding like Hillary he’s criticizing. And when he gets into office on a pro coal message. He’ll be able to provide “new options” to his kids while constituents keep dreaming about the economic prospects of coal.

So thanks for contributing to the discourse. Comment’s like Pat don’t help.

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