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Candidates in 2014 Congressional races forming but still unclear

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April 29, 2013

West Virginia

By Phil Sletten

CHARLESTON, West Virginia: With two seats for national office opening up in West Virginia in 2014, the field remains unsettled for both the Congressional seats being vacated by retiring U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller (D) and U.S. House Representative Shelley Moore Capito (R), who is running for the U.S. Senate. A few names have risen to the top, while several others, including State Senator Erik Wells (D), have withdrawn their names from consideration.[1]

Wells, who was considering running for Capito's U.S House seat, said that he can do the most good for West Virginia in the state legislature. He also cited other priorities in his life, including spending more time with his family. Wells ran for Congress against Capito in 2004.[1][2]

Democratic officials have been quiet about other candidates that might be considering a run for Capito's Second Congressional District seat. State Senator Herb Snyder (D) has expressed interest in running, but has not yet publicly decided.[3] Other names mentioned as potential candidates include former Democratic Party chairman Nick Casey and Delegate Doug Skaff, Jr. (D).[4]

Potential Republican candidates have been more open about their interest in the seat. Both State Senate Minority Leader Mike Hall (West Virginia) (R) and State House Minority Leader Tim Armstead (R) have expressed interest, while fellow Delegates Patrick Lane (R) and Eric Nelson (R) may run. Former state legislators Larry Faircloth and Steve Harrison are also reportedly considering vying for the seat.[4][3]

For the U.S. Senate seat held by Rockefeller, Capito's early announcement in November 2012 may not have cleared the primary field. Former State Senator Patrick McGeehan (R) has announced his plans to challenge her, prompting threats of paid advertising in support of Capito from national Republican officials during the primary.[5] No major candidates have emerged on the Democratic side, but West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, who is also Erik Wells's wife, may be a candidate for the U.S. Senate or the U.S. House. However, she has not confirmed more than simply considering a run.[3]

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