04 February 2010

Election 2010: Congress

The Associated Press reviews candidate filings for West Virginia's three U.S. House seats and finds "a role reversal this campaign season: The lone Republican seems poised for an easy re-election, while the two Democrats are on the defensive."

Besides multiple would-be GOP challengers, both Democrats also face primary opponents. While Rep. Nick Rahall, D-3rd, has his first contested primary since 2002, the other Democrat is a relative unknown. But Rep. Alan Mollohan, the 1st District's automatic nominee since 1998, is up against state Sen. Mike Oliverio of Monongalia County.

“I can help the Democratic Party hold this seat in a year when there will be tremendous pressure on incumbents,” Oliverio told AP.

Depending on how May shakes out, the November ballot could also feature high-profile GOP nominees. For Rahall, it could be Democrat-turned-Republican and former state Supreme Court Justice Elliott "Spike" Maynard.

But Maynard fared as poorly in Rahall's district as he did in his failed 2008 court re-election bid. He placed third in each of its 17 counties except for his then-home of Mingo, the article said.

Oliverio, meanwhile, has previously run twice for secretary and state but lost. "Although he placed third statewide the second time around, he led in the 20 counties that make up Mollohan’s district," the article noted.

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