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December 22, 2013

2014 election will be one to watch

Much attention being focused on U.S. Senate seat now held by Rockefeller

FAIRMONT — 2014 may not be a presidential election year, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be one to watch.

When the 2014 midterm election gets under way Nov. 4, 2014, nationally 33 U.S. Senate seats and all 435 seats in the House will be up for election.

With two Republican and five Democrat senators announcing their retirement, including Sen. Jay Rockefeller in West Virginia, there could be some interesting races to keep an eye on in 2014.

The Democrat and Republican primaries will be held Tuesday, May 13. While the filing period for candidates interested in running in West Virginia won’t begin until Jan. 13, several candidates have already expressed interest in running for Rockefeller’s seat.

Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito announced her intention to run in November 2012, a month and a half before Rockefeller announced his retirement.

Then, in September of this year, West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant announced her intention to run on the Democrat ticket.

As of the third-quarter financial reports in October, Capito had $3.2 million in cash on hand, while, two weeks after announcing her candidacy, Tennant had raised $153,000.

Due to high polling numbers, Capito and Tennant are considered the front-runners for their respective parties’ primaries. However, the ballot won’t be decided until the May primary election. Others who have announced their intent to run include Democrats Sheirl Fletcher and David Wamsley; Republicans Rick LeMasters, former Delegate Pat McGeehan, Scott Regan and Edwin Vanover; Constitution Party’s Phil Hudok; and Martin Staunton running as an independent.

If Capito and Tennant end up facing off in November, it would guarantee West Virginia will end up with its first female senator in 2015.

However, the Senate race is not the only race happening in 2014. While the U.S. House is not expected to go through a major power shift, there are also local and state elections.

For Marion County, the following people have submitted pre-candidacy forms to the Secretary of State’s office for the House of Delegates: Barry H. Bledsoe, Delegate Mike Caputo, Philip Wayne Mallow and Delegate Tim Manchin. For West Virginia Senate, candidates who have filed pre-candidacy forms for District 2 include current state Sen., Democrat Larry J. Edgell of New Martinsville, and Republican Kent Leonhardt of Fairview.

Those running for county office only have to apply locally at the county clerk’s office to appear on the ballot. Marion County has received three filings for the 2014 election so far. Current Marion County Circuit Clerk Rhonda L. Starn has filed for re-election. Burley “Butch” Tennant has also filed for re-election on the county commission, representing the Middletown district. Andrea Patrice Rittenhouse has also filed to run for the Marion County Commission seat.

It will be a long year of campaigning before the election results come out in November.

Email Colleen S. Good at cgood@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @CSGoodTWV.

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