11 May 2010

Election 2010: W.Va. Senate

More than one-third of West Virginia's 2010 legislative candidates are assured their party's nomination Tuesday, because they have no primary opponents.

But campaign finance reports suggest a handful of contested races across the state, The Associated Press reports.

"The most expensive contest has been the Democratic primary rematch between Senate Majority Leader Truman Chafin and Mingo County Commissioner Greg “Hootie” Smith," the article said. "Chafin, who is seeking an 8th term, had loaned his campaign $197,000 as of April 25. He raised another $60,545, nearly three times as much as Smith. But Smith had also self-financed, to the tune of $140,000, and had spent $170,428 to Chafin’s $193,267."

That race is a re-match from 2006, as is the contest between Sen. Randy White, D-Webster, and Nicholas County prosecutor Greg Tucker, who had outspent the incumbent as of April 25, AP reports.

The article also cites figures from candidates seeking the Democratic nod in Cabell, Hancock, Kanawha and Lincoln counties.

"These few races have also attracted nearly all of the $179,000 spent by third parties on independent ads for or against candidates and reported to the secretary of state so far this election season," AP notes. "Ninety percent of that money has come from labor unions."

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