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Out-of-state funds aided W.Va. House GOP gains

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LAWRENCE MESSINA
Associated Press

 

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A national GOP group and a Manhattan hedge fund executive helped fuel the party's election gains in West Virginia's House of Delegates.

Republicans increased their share of the House from 35 to 46 delegates last month. Their efforts included more than $215,000 worth of last-minute ads targeting 24 of the chamber's 100 seats.

A new GOP political action committee spent about half those funds. Its donors included the Republican State Leadership Committee. Other contributors were Sean Fieler of Equinox Partners in New York and James Laurita of Morgantown-based coal operator MEPCO.

There was little such spending by the majority Democrats. They instead relied on independent ads from labor unions.

The legislative candidates themselves spent $3.2 million on their general election races. Spending toward the May primary had totaled $1.9 million.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.