Candidate filing produces some familiar names - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Candidate filing produces some familiar names

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 Candidate filing in West Virginia often produces familiar names and this year was no different.

The last day for candidate filing through the West Virginia Secretary of State's office was Jan. 25, and the West Virginia Republican Party boasted just days later that it had filled the ballot with candidates from its party for every seat.

"We have combed the state for job creators, community leaders and true conservatives who will come to Charleston to set us on a new course for prosperity," said West Virginia Republican Party Chairman Conrad Lucas. "Republicans will stand up for coal, fight to lower taxes and make West Virginia the kind of place where businesses succeed."

Lucas pointed out the Democratic Party left 19 seats in the Legislature where Republicans are the incumbents unopposed.

Starting at the top of the list with the U.S. Senate race, three Republicans and three Democrats have filed to take the seat U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., has held since 1984.

The Republicans are Larry E. Butcher of Washington, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito of Charleston and Matthew Dodrill of Parkersburg. The Democrats are Dennis Melton of Buckhannon, Secretary of State Natalie Tennant of Charleston and David B. Wamsley of Williamstown.

And politics often becomes a game of falling dominoes, with one shift affecting several others.

West Virginia's auditor for the past 22 years, Glen Gainer, is the lone Democrat running against incumbent Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., for the First District House of Representatives seat.

In the Second District vacancy Capito is leaving, Democrats Nick Casey and Delegate Meshea Poore of Kanawha County have filed to run. Republicans Robert L. Fluharty, Charlotte Lane, Alex Mooney, Ken Reed, Ron Walters Jr. and former state senator Steve Harrison all have filed on the Republican ticket for the seat.

And Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., is serving his 19th term representing the Third Congressional District in the House of Representatives, but his margin of victory has been continually shrinking. His contenders include prominent Logan County Democrat Richard Ojeda for the primary election and the lone Republican contender is long-time Democratic state senator Evan Jenkins who switched his party affiliation last year for this race.

Among the races for state Legislature, several more shuffles are possible. All 100 seats in the West Virginia House of Delegates will be on the ballot in 2014, along with half of the West Virginia Senate.

Three people are running in Cabell County where Jenkins is leaving an empty seat.

Elections also will be held some unexpired terms for Circuit Judges and commissioner in several counties, but the commissioner candidates file with their county clerks.

Delegate Ryan Ferns, R-Ohio, was first elected as a Democrat to represent the House of Delegates' District 1, but he changed his party affiliation in November 2013 and is running for Senate as a Republican representing District 1. He filed pre-candidacy papers to run for the Senate the same day he switched parties.

Delegate Doug Skaff Jr., D-Kanawha, also is hoping to hop across the Rotunda to the Senate. Skaff, along with Ferns, has been pushing legislation in the House to benefit small businesses throughout the current legislative session.

Harrison County had several falling dominoes, with former Clarksburg Mayor Margaret Bailey announcing back in October she would join the West Virginia GOP and run for House of Delegates. Former Harrison County Board of Education President Mike Queen stepped down from that position and will seek a seat in the state Senate.

Ravenswood Mayor Michael Ihle has filed to represent Jackson County in the House of Delegates. Former House of Delegates Minority Leader Charles S. Trump has filed to run for state Senate to represent Morgan County after several years outside the Legislature. Frank Deem, a Republican who has spent time in both the Senate and House of Delegates is running again for a spot to represent District 10 in the West Virginia House this election.