The Times West Virginian

Opinion

January 20, 2013

Who’s in line after Jay’s retirement announcement?

Something unique happens when a person, who has had a coveted job for 30 years, announces retirement.

All of the sudden, everything stops because the realization is there that the job is up for grabs. Even people who’ve never dreamed of having that job or even vying for it all of the sudden have stars in their eyes and believe it to be possible. And they start making their move for it in a very calculated way.

It’s not just a phenomenon in the business world. It happens within the political realm, too. Only in that world, it’s all public. The speculation. The hints. The signs. And last week, when U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., announced that for “personal, not political” reasons he would not be seeking re-election for his seat in 2014, the ball started rolling.

U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., had already indicated that she planned to run for the seat, setting off a wave of speculation that Rockefeller felt like he couldn’t compete with the six-term Republican from the state’s 2nd Congressional District. And that’s just speculation. Even if it were true, we still have to take the senator at his word that it has nothing to do with the political landscape of the state or what it may look like within the year. We take his word that after five terms and 30 years serving as the senator from West Virginia, he wants to retire. He deserves that respect.

But, the announcement made waves. No longer was it going to be a Capito-Rockefeller battle. There was going to be a new name attached to that race. Now we still have to go through the 2014 primary, so there’s no guarantee that Capito will make it through the Republican primary to earn the party’s nomination on the 2014 general election ballot. Regardless, Capito is the only one to officially say that she plans to run for the seat.

The Democrats have thus far been silent, turning speculation into wild speculation. Who’s going to make a play for the seat? Their silence may also be out of respect for Rockefeller and his service. Or, it could be that everyone is just waiting for the first announcement to gauge the field. Nobody has said they plan to run. Several have said they’re considering it. The list includes Wheeling-area businessman Ralph Baxter, U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, former state Democratic Party Chairman Mike Callaghan and Supreme Court Justice Robin Davis.

None were featured in our poll question last week, found on www.timeswv.com, which asked readers who they thought would be a good candidate.

Here are the ones we highlighted and how you responded.

• U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin — 5.26 percent.

He has yet to announce whether he is interested in the position, but you have to give him a little extension. He just wrapped up the prosecution of a former Upper Big Branch mine superintendent on Thursday, so he’s been a little occupied.

• House Speaker Rick Thompson — 10.53 percent

After the announcement, Thompson’s campaign consultant told “The Hill” that while he was flattered, the lawmaker had no intention of running. Who could blame him, though. The political upheaval in the state for the last three years has been exhausting.

• Carte Goodwin, who briefly served in the Senate following the death of U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd — 24.56 percent

Carte hasn’t said yes or no.

“There will be plenty of time for people to make decisions like that,” Goodwin also told “The Hill” last week. “It’s the kind of thing that anybody would be flattered to have their name contemplated for a position like that.”

• Secretary of State Natalie Tennant — 59.65 percent

Tennant has said she would consider it, but again has not officially announced her candidacy. And full disclosure, this poll may be a little stacked, considering that Tennant is a Marion County native. And maybe a lot of Marion Countians would think that having two current U.S. senators from here — U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin hails from Farmington while Tennant is from Fairview — would be a good thing.

Well, it’s all up in the air until someone makes it official. And then it will get pretty interesting.

This week, let’s talk about gun control again, now that President Barack Obama has let the nation know his administration’s views on the issue.

Log on. Vote. Email me or respond online.

Misty Poe

Managing Editor

mpoe@timeswv.com

@MistyPoeTWV

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Marion scores well in recent health report but could do better

    When it comes to area-wide studies, especially on health, there’s usually good news and bad news.
    So was the recent report on the health of America’s counties released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently. The nationwide county study evaluated health outcomes and health factors, and ranked counties accordingly.

    April 13, 2014

  • COLUMN: ‘Instant’ news not always reliable

    Instant.
    That little word has a pretty big meaning. With origins that date back to the 15th century, it means urgent, current, immediate.
    But think about how that word has developed over the past few decades.
    Instant pudding. Instead of slaving over a hot stove for a few minutes, you can now pour cold milk and with a bit of stirring, instant pudding!

    April 13, 2014

  • Decision to be an organ donor can save lives

    Chelsea Clair watched as her father died waiting for a bone marrow transplant.
    So when she met Kyle Froelich at a car show in 2009 and heard about his struggles to find a kidney that would match his unique needs, she never hesitated to offer hers to the man she just met.

    April 11, 2014

  • Volunteers continue to have priceless impact on community

    Chances are, you know someone who volunteers. Perhaps you’re a volunteer yourself.
    Marion County is full of volunteers.
    They read to our youth.
    They assist nonprofit agencies.
    They serve on boards and committees.
    And in 2013, they spent a day picking up nearly 10 tons of garbage that had been tossed out on public property around Marion County.

    April 10, 2014

  • Proposed school calendar lives up to letter and spirit of law

    West Virginia state law requires that students be in a classroom for 180 days.

    April 9, 2014

  • Strong Fairmont General Hospital badly needed to serve our region

    Mere minutes often matter when it comes to emergency health care.
    That’s why we need a strong Fairmont General Hospital.
    When patients need the services of health-care professionals, having family and friends close at hand is often essential, and their presence may even lead to a better outcome.

    April 6, 2014

  • COLUMN: Fairmont General Hospital vital part of community

    There’s nothing better than holding a newborn baby. It gives you a little feeling that not only is everything right in the world, but this perfect little human represents hope of a future where things will be better than they are today.
    I had that blessed opportunity to hold that hopeful future in my arms last week when I visited my dear friend Jen and her newborn son Tristan at Fairmont General Hospital.

    April 6, 2014

  • Putting a cost on safety issue has been culprit in 13 traffic deaths

    Would you believe that an item costing just 57 cents — less than the price of a can of pop — is being cited as the culprit in 13 traffic deaths?
    A simple 57-cent item.
    That’s how much fixing the fatal ignition switches that General Motors installed in new automobiles would have cost, and 13 lives would probably have been saved.

    April 4, 2014

  • TextLimit app one more step in cutting down distracted driving

    Every day in the United States, nine people are killed and more than 1,000 people are injured in vehicle accidents that involve distracted drivers.
    That statistic comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which goes on to say that 69 percent of U.S. drivers between the ages of 18 and 64 reported that they had talked on their cellphone while driving within the 30 days before they were surveyed.

    April 3, 2014

  • Award-winning county teachers represent hard work, sacrifice

    Each year, the Arch Coal Foundation recognizes outstanding West Virginia teachers with its annual Arch Coal Teacher Achievement Award.
    And this year, two Marion County teachers were among the 12 recipients.

    April 2, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Politics
House Ads