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Primary election candidates certified

By John Raby

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia's May 13 primary slate is official and will have several contested races on the federal level.

Secretary of State Natalie Tennant certified the primary election's candidates earlier this month.

U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall in the 3rd District is the lone incumbent facing a primary opponent in the House races. The 19-term incumbent's primary challenger is retired Army officer Richard Ojeda II, a Democrat from Logan County.

It marks only the third primary challenge for Rahall since 2000.

Seven-term 2nd District Rep. Shelley Moore Capito will face two other candidates in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Democrat Jay Rockefeller, while Tennant is running on the Democratic side and will have two opponents.

Challenging Capito in the Republican primary are Larry Butcher, of Washington, in Wood County, and Matthew Dodrill, of Parkersburg. Tennant will be opposed by Williamstown Democrat David Wamsley and Buckhannon's Dennis Melton.

Seven Republicans and two Democrats are seeking Capito's congressional seat.

First District Republican Rep. David McKinley will square off against state auditor and Democrat Glen Gainer III in November after both run unopposed in May's congressional primary.

Half of the 34-member state Senate and all 100 seats in the House of Delegates are up this year. Democrats hold a 24-10 advantage in the Senate and a 53-47 edge in the House.

Thirteen of the 17 state Senate races are uncontested in both parties. Contested primary races pit Democrats Mike Woelfel and Robert Alexander in Cabell County, Upshur County Republicans Robert Karnes and Steve Foster, Kanawha County Republicans Lance Wheeler and Tom Takubo, and two Harrison County Democrats: Mike Romano and incumbent Sam Cann.

Nine delegates, including six Democrats, aren't seeking another House term, and three of those are running for other offices. Ohio County Republican Ryan Ferns and Kanawha County Democrat Doug Skaff are seeking state Senate seats and Kanawha County Democrat Meshea Poore is seeking Capito's congressional seat.

In the state Senate, Cabell County Republican Evan Jenkins and Kanawha County Democrat Brooks McCabe aren't seeking re-election. Jenkins is running unopposed in the 3rd Congressional District primary.

Wood County Republican Frank Deem, 85, is trying to win back a House seat he first held in 1954. He's served 12 years in the House, 31 in the Senate and lost to current Sen. David Nohe in the 2010 primary.

The Mountain Party also enjoys ballot status in West Virginia, and two of its members are seeking legislative seats.


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