Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., is facing a competitive race for a 20th term (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Updated 3:12 p.m. | West Virginia state Sen. Evan Jenkins raised $200,000 in the first quarter for his bid to unseat 19-term Democratic Rep. Nick J. Rahall II.
The Republican will report about $500,000 in cash on hand as of the end of March, according to figures provided to CQ Roll Call.
Jenkins, a former Democrat, is shaping up as Rahall’s most competitive rival in decades, and the incumbent is already the target of outside spending. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee recently added Rahall to its incumbent protection program. Full story
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel has named Rep. Nick J. Rahall II of West Virginia to the committee’s Frontline program.
Frontline is a designation for endangered Democratic incumbents.
“As a battle-tested campaigner, Nick Joe Rahall has been the overwhelming choice of southern West Virginians because he stands for commonsense values, will protect Social Security and Medicare and will relentlessly fight for good-paying West Virginia jobs,” Israel said in a release.
“We won’t stand on the sidelines while outside groups spend millions of dollars to deceive voters about an incumbent.”
Americans for Prosperity, a conservative outside group backed by Charles and David Koch, is up with a radio ad against Rep. Nick J. Rahall II, D-W.Va.
The group is spending about $30,000 to air the spot and like many other ads in recent weeks. It attacks a Democratic candidate on the issue of health care.
In the radio ad, the group goes after Rahall and President Barack Obama for promising Americans could keep their health insurance plans with the new 2010 health care law. The radio ad also includes a clip of Rahall saying that “it may be in their best interest long term to be canceled.” Full story
Former television correspondent Ed Rabel announced on Facebook that he is “exploring a run” for West Virginia’s 2nd District.
The Charleston Gazette reported that he is considering a run as a candidate for the local “Mountain Party.” Rabel was a national correspondent for CBS and NBC.
“As you may know by this time, I am exploring a run for the United States Congress,” he wrote. “The Congressional seat I may be seeking is in the 2nd Congressional District of West Virginia, a big district that stretches from one end of the state to the other.”
“I’ll be traveling the length and breadth of the district to listen to the people in making my decision whether to run,” he added.
EMILY’s List, an organization that backs female Democratic candidates who support abortion rights, has endorsed West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant’s bid for Senate.
“I wanted to personally let you know that today we’re endorsing Natalie Tennant for the U.S. Senate race in West Virginia,” EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock wrote to the group’s supporter email list. Full story
Her entrance into the race marks the start of the last chapter of this cycle’s recruitment season for Senate races. Democrats cannot lose more than five seats and retain their Senate majority, but recruitment in three of those open-seat races — South Dakota, West Virginia and Montana — has complicated their efforts until recently. Full story
Her candidacy comes as good news for Senate Democrats, who were hunting for a top candidate to run for the competitive seat.
West Virginia Democratic Party Chairman Larry Puccio declined to confirm any impending announcement to CQ Roll Call but said Tennant had been widely recruited from within the state to run. A spokesperson for Tennant could not be reached for comment.
Candidates are lining up to run for Capito's House seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
The burgeoning field of candidates looking replace Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., continued to grow this week.
On Tuesday, one Republican — finance consultant Ron Walters Jr. — jumped in the race. Meanwhile, another GOP contender — Del. Suzette Raines — indicated her interested in joining the field.
“We need to move West Virginia down the right path to an economically prosperous future,” Walters said in his campaign announcement statement. “I will make a difference in the fight against higher taxes and over-burdensome regulation. In addition, I know this district intimately, having grown up in the Charleston area with deep family roots in the Eastern Panhandle.” Full story
Reid assessed his party's recruitment status in a recent interview. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
After eight months of searching, have Senate Democrats finally found a recruit in West Virginia? Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said yes in a recent interview.
“I think we’re going to be very competitive in — in West Virginia, we have a candidate there who should be announcing shortly,” the Nevada Democrat told a local PBS affiliate about the race to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller.
Reid did not divulge the Democrat’s name during the interview on “Nevada Week in Review.” Several Democrats have passed on the race, and Secretary of State Natalie Tennant remains as the only prominent recruit who has not declined to run yet. Full story
Updated 11:29 a.m. | West Virginia state Sen. Evan Jenkins will announce Wednesday morning that he changed his party affiliation from Democratic to Republican to challenge Rep. Nick J. Rahall II next year, according to national GOP operatives.
Republicans have indicated they want to target the 3rd District with a top candidate in 2014. But Jenkins might not be the only Republican in the race. The GOP’s 2012 nominee, former Del. Rick Snuffer, issued a statement on Jenkins’ move that indicated he might run again.
Another Republican is poised to enter the race for GOP Rep. Shelley Moore Capito’s seat in West Virginia
Ex-U.S. International Trade Commissioner Charlotte Lane told CQ Roll Call on Tuesday that she is “in the process” of getting her papers together to file her candidacy. She expects to file sometime this week. Full story
Capito is running for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., may be looking ahead to her Senate race, but she is keeping a close eye on the race to replace her in the 2nd District. And the seven-term congresswoman is not exactly confident about her party’s chances of holding the seat.
“I think we can hold it, but not without a lot of resources and a good candidate,” she said in a phone interview. Full story