Robert Karnes

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Robert Karnes
Robert Karnes.jpg
West Virginia State Senate, District 11
In office
December 12, 2014[1] - present
Term ends
November 31, 2018
Years in position 0
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
High schoolPoca High School, 1987
Place of birthNitro, West Virginia
ProfessionSmall Business Owner
Robert Karnes is a Republican member of the West Virginia State Senate, representing District 11. He was first elected to the chamber in 2014.


Karnes' professional experience includes working as a life guard, construction, satellite communications technician, database programmer, field engineer and network engineer. Since 2004, Karnes has operated a small communications business that provides field support and network services. He is also a private pilot.[2][3]


Campaign themes


Karnes' website highlighted the following campaign themes:

Pro Education

  • Excerpt: "Parents, teachers and local school boards need more flexibility to shape the education of their children. It is silly to think a bureaucrat and a union representative meeting behind closed doors in Charleston to formulate “policy” care more for our kids than the parents who changed the diapers and baited the hooks or the teachers who have spent years in the classroom providing individualized attention to the children entrusted to them."

Pro Growth

  • Excerpts:
  • "Lower taxes and simplify both the corporate and personal tax codes."
  • "Eliminate sales tax on food. (I also oppose imposing sales tax on air and water.)"
  • "Help small businesses get established and grow by exempting the first $100,000 in profit from corporate taxes. Small businesses are West Virginia’s and the nation’s primary job creators. We need to recognize this fact and reward them. Currently we tax them heavily so we can give a tax cut."

Pro Gun

  • Excerpt: "I am a firm supporter of the 2nd amendment. I support concealed carry laws that reduce the burden on law abiding citizens exercising their 2nd amendment rights. I oppose any form of monthly gun “allowance” that would hinder our right to purchase firearms."

Pro Life

  • Excerpt: "I am a strong pro-life advocate. I believe Roe v Wade to be wholly without constitutional foundation. At the state level we need to ensure that public funding is never used to pay for abortion services. We should also help young mothers by making life the easy choice and by streamlining adoption procedures. I support the PersonHood movement’s efforts to extend 14th amendment protections to the unborn."

Pro Family

  • Excerpt: "Focusing on educational basics instead of social engineering means not undermining the authority of parents or denigrating their religious beliefs. I support the ParentalRights Amendment."


  • Excerpt: "At present taxes and regulatory barricades make it easier for companies to send the jobs out of state. We need to review both tax and regulatory structures to figure out how we can encourage the creation of more of these jobs right here in West Virginia."



See also: West Virginia State Senate elections, 2014

Elections for the office of West Virginia State Senate took place in 2014. A primary election took place on May 13, 2014. The general election was held on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was January 25, 2014. Incumbent Gregory A. Tucker was unopposed in the Democratic primary, while Steve Foster was defeated by Robert L. Karnes in the Republican primary. Karnes defeated Tucker in the general election.[4][5][6]

West Virginia State Senate District 11, General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngRobert L. Karnes 55.6% 15,171
     Democratic Gregory A. Tucker Incumbent 44.4% 12,122
Total Votes 27,293

West Virginia State Senate, District 11 Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngRobert L. Karnes 53.1% 3,327
Steve Foster 46.9% 2,941
Total Votes 6,268


See also: West Virginia House of Delegates elections, 2012

Karnes ran in the 2012 election for West Virginia House of Delegates, District 44. Karnes defeated Duane Borchers, Sr. in the May 8 primary election and was defeated by Dana L. Lynch in the general election which took place on November 6, 2012.[7][8][9]

West Virginia House of Delegates, District 44, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngDana Lynch 59.9% 3,351
     Republican Robert Karnes 40.1% 2,240
Total Votes 5,591



In 2012, Karnes was endorsed by the following:[10]

  • National Rifle Association (NRA)
  • National Federation of Independent Business
  • West Virginians for Life
  • Sue Blake Andersen
  • John Sandy
  • Patriot Coal
  • West Virginia Family Foundation
  • Tim Woody


Karnes and his wife, Amy, have eight children. He is a member of Tallmansville Baptist Church.[2][3]

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