2014 elections review: West Virginia holds congressional primaries

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May 14, 2014

West Virginia

By Ballotpedia's Congressional team

The primary elections of the 2014 season continued yesterday in West Virginia with seats up for grabs in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House. There were few surprises in yesterday’s race, but West Virginia will be a state to watch in the general election on November 4, 2014, with open seats in the Senate and House and a tough re-election race for long-time incumbent Nick Rahall.

U.S. Senate

See also: United States Senate elections in West Virginia, 2014

Shelley Moore Capito, representative from West Virginia's 2nd Congressional District, and West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant will move on to the general election to compete for Jay Rockefeller's U.S. Senate seat.[1] Capito defeated Larry Butcher and Matthew Dodrill in the Republican primary, and Tennant defeated Dennis Melton and David Wamsley in the Democratic primary. Also on the general election ballot are Libertarian Party candidates Thomas Coyne and John Buckley, Constitution Party candidate Phil Hudok and Independent Martin Staunton.[2][3][4][5]

In the most recent poll conducted by DMF Research, Capito, (R), leads Tennant, (D), by ten percent and is favored to win the seat, as West Virginia becomes increasingly conservative.[6] Capito has also outraised Tennant by more than $2.5 million, according to Federal Election Commission reports.[7][8] If Capito or Tennant win the seat, it will be the first time West Virginia elects a woman to the senate.

U.S. House

See also: United States House of Representatives elections in West Virginia, 2014

There are three seats up for grabs in West Virginia's 2014 congressional elections. Heading into the November 4 election, the Republican Party holds two of the three congressional seats from West Virginia.

Members of the U.S. House from West Virginia -- Partisan Breakdown
Party As of July 2014 After the 2014 Election
     Democratic Party 1 Pending
     Republican Party 2 Pending
Total 3 3

District 1

See also: West Virginia's 1st Congressional District elections, 2014

Incumbent David McKinley ran unopposed in the Republican primary. Glen Gainer ran unopposed in the Democratic primary.

District 2

See also: West Virginia's 2nd Congressional District elections, 2014

In a crowded Republican primary, Alex Mooney defeated Robert Fluharty, Steve Harrison, Charlotte Lane, Jim Moss, Ken Reed and Ron Walters Jr., earning 36% of the vote.[1] After winning the nomination Mooney said, "I’m very pleased with the margin (of victory). I’m pleased with the voters. I know, honestly, what I was hearing from the voters of West Virginia as I was campaigning across the district this whole time, was that they wanted a conservative."[9]

Nick Casey defeated Meshea Poore in the Democratic primary.[1] Casey and Mooney will face Independent candidate Ed Rabel in the general election.[10]

District 3

See also: West Virginia's 3rd Congressional District elections, 2014
BattlegroundRace.jpg

Incumbent Nick Rahall defeated retired U.S. Army major, Richard Ojeda in the Democratic primary.[1] Rahall will face Evan Jenkins, who ran unopposed in the Republican primary, in one of the most interesting midterm races.[11]

Rahall, who is seeking his 20th term, had this to say after winning the Democratic nomination: “I am honored to receive this nomination, the lines in this campaign are now clearly drawn: it's West Virginia working families against out-of-state billionaires and their puppet, Evan Jenkins. Billionaires from New York City will do everything they can to try and tear us down, because they know that no one stands stronger in Washington against their reckless agenda that threatens our workers, our seniors, our coal miners and our economy. But I have news for them -- the voices of West Virginia working families are infinitely stronger than their shadowy money, and we welcome this fight to protect our West Virginia way of life.”[12]

West Virginia's 3rd District is included as one of the U.S. House battleground districts in 2014. Fairvote projections show the district as only slightly favoring Democrats, while Cook PVI shows the district as heavily favoring Republicans. Incumbent Nick Rahall is a long-time Democrat serving in a Republican district, and he is an NRCC target in 2014. In addition, the Republican presidential candidate won the district in 2012 and 2008. Romney secured 32.2% more votes than Obama in 2012, and McCain won the district by 13.4% in 2008.

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