09 December 2009

W.Va. Pre-Candidates Lavished with Attention (2nd Update)

With West Virginia's official candidate filing period not starting until Jan. 11, media coverage has turned to the scores of state residents who have filed pre-candidacy papers.

As the secretary of state's office explains, such filings are free and non-committal, allowing "prospective candidates to 'test the waters' to see if seeking office is the right decision."

The reports include one item from The Charleston Gazette on Charleston lawyer Meshea Poore filing for the House of Delegates seat vacated by soon-to-be Kanawha Circuit Judge Carrie Webster. While losing to Webster in the 2008 Democratic primary for the 31st District, Poore was one of only a handful of candidates that May to enjoy an "Obama bounce" in West Virginia.

Gov. Joe Manchin will appoint Webster's successor, from names submitted by the district's Democratic committee.

Both The Gazette and the Charleston Daily Mail reported on the pre-candidacy of Richie Robb, the former longtime mayor of South Charleston and Republican-turned-Democrat who is courting the teacher union vote in advance of a possible challenge to state Sen. Erik Wells, D-Kanawha.

The Associated Press earlier noted the filing from sophomore Delegate Ralph Rodighiero, D-Logan, for a potential primary challenge to U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-3rd.

Rodighiero told AP he expected to file officially if he proved able to raise at least $400,000 for a primary battle he expects will cost $1 million.

"The 46-year-old legislator says coal industry figures approached him several months ago, encouraging him to run," that article said. "They are upset with the Obama administration's handling of mining permits. The 17-term Rahall has come under fire as well. Rodighiero says environmentalists and federal regulators would have no influence over him."

(Corrected) former delegate and unsuccessful 2008 GOP attorney general candidate Dan Greear got ink last week after vowing to challenge Webster for the Kanawha Circuit Court seat. The Daily Mail had an item.

(Update: Greear has not filed precandidacy with the Secretary of State, but a reader points out that those interested in single-county seats file with the county. Kanawha County's clerk notes Greear's filing on its web site.)

(2nd Update) Former nun Virginia Lynch Graf made a splash late last month by filing early to signal a possible challenge to Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-2nd, with a report from AP. And while he -- apparently -- hasn't filed precandidacy, former Charleston councilman Archie Chestnut won mention in the Daily Mail for saying he may run for Webster's vacated House seat.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wanted to let you know your statement about Dan Greear was not accurate. Dan Greear filed pre-candidacy on Friday of last week. Candidates for county office file with the respective county clerk, not the West Virginia Secretary of State, perhaps you check with the wrong office when trying to obtain this info? No harm done, just thought I'd let you know.