By Lauren Rodgers
Charleston, WV: West Virginia Treasurer John Perdue is one of the six state executive officials eligible for re-election in 2012. But his path to another term in office may be the most uncertain at this time.
The U.S. Attorney's Office is investigating Perdue on two fronts. The first is a "real estate transaction ... involving Perdue, a friend and real estate developer, and the West Virginia Housing Development Fund, where Perdue is a board member." The office is also looking into campaign contributions employees of the Treasurer's office made to Perdue's primary campaign for governor in the 2011 special election.
Perdue was first elected to the statewide office in 1996 and won re-election in three subsequent elections. Despite his popularity, these investigations, coupled with Perdue's loss in the Democratic primary during the 2011 special gubernatorial election, may draw more - and better qualified - candidates into the race for treasurer to challenge Perdue. Already, Republican Delegate Eric Nelson is said to be giving "serious thought" to a joining the race, and on the other side of the aisle, Delegate Douglas Reynolds (D) is purported to be waiting to see whether or not Perdue drops out of the race. State Senator Walt Helmick may also consider challenging Perdue, though he is thought to be more likely to pursue the office of agriculture commissioner being vacated by Gus Douglass.