Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 11, 2016

Natalie Tennant Enters West Virginia Senate Race | #WVSEN

West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant announced her campaign for Senate on Tuesday morning, filling in one of the final holes on Democrats’ recruitment map for the 2014 cycle.

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. Tennant will likely have the support of high-profile Democratic groups, such as EMILY’s List. Tennant scheduled two events Tuesday morning to make her announcement, one in Beckley at 9:30 a.m. and a later event in Charleston at 11:30 a.m.

Her likely Republican rival, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, is a popular figure across the aisle in Washington. Operatives at the National Republican Senatorial Committee responded to the announcement by seeking to tie Tennant to President Barack Obama, who remains deeply unpopular in the Mountain State.

“Republicans are well-positioned to pick up this seat and the Senate majority in 2014, which means a repeal of ObamaCare and the end of President Obama’s war on coal and American energy,” said NRSC Executive Director Rob Collins in a statement.

This is a race to replace Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller, who is retiring. The race is rated Lean Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call

Kyle Trygstad contributed to this report.

  • YoungConservative

    Who? Another nobody running against a popular congresswoman. Yawn.

  • Michael Martin

    Tennant is a solid choice for the Democratic nomination. She is well-liked throughout the state, recently gave back $3 million from her office to the state, and has made legislation that eases consumer access to government as Secretary of State. As a West Virginian, I think highly of her candidacy.

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