Field is set for West Virginia's state executive primary elections
Charleston, WV: The race is on! Over the weekend, the West Virginia candidate filing deadline passed, setting the field for the 2012 primary races for governor, secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer, auditor, and agriculture commissioner.
Democrats currently hold all six of the seats, and incumbents are seeking re-election in five of the races - Gus Douglass, the state's current agriculture commissioner, will retire after 48 years in office. Four Democrats and one Republican are in the running to succeed him in office.
Earl Ray Tomblin, the Mountain State's current governor, is the only incumbent facing a primary challenger, and the list of gubernatorial candidates will look familiar to anyone who followed last year's special election. All of this year's candidates were also on the ballot in 2011. Bill Maloney, who won an 8-way primary contest last year to secure the Republican nomination, faces Ralph William Clark in the Republican primary this year, as well. In 2011, Maloney won with 45.11% of the vote while Clark captured 1.88%. Tomblin is also slated to face a familiar challenger. Arnie Moltis, known to some as the "Frank Sinatra of West Virginia," finished last in the 2011 Democratic primary, garnering less than one percent of the total votes.
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In the down ballot offices, each race has at least one Democratic candidate and one Republican candidate, and just one office will see a primary election this cycle: the Democratic nomination for agriculture commissioner. Keep in mind this deadline is only for major party candidates. The partisan primary elections will be held May 8th. Independent candidates and minor party candidates have until August 1st to file their candidacy, and the West Virginia secretary of state will certify the official list of candidate names that will appear on the ballot by August 28th. Write-in candidates must file with the office by September 25th.