Update: U.S. Senate candidate John Raese says he has accepted an invitation to speak to West Virginia business leaders.
Earlier, Raese said he had not been invited to speak at the Business Summit at The Greenbrier resort.
Raese will speak Friday afternoon.
He said in a statement, "Obviously, I'm speaking at the Chamber's Business Summit, so I'm going to be speaking as one West Virginia business person to another there" "
"Everyone in that room knows that the Obama Administration has been no friend to West Virginia's business community. I've never seen anything quite like it. On one hand, you have coal operators, even those with clean environmental records, having great difficulty getting a new permit, forcing them to lay off their workers. That's about the worst news a coal mining family can hear as their kids go back to school. It's devastating whole communities, so you're forced to ask, "Where is the leadership for these West Virginians?"
Here is the original version of this story:
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Some candidates running in the November general election are on the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce's Business Summit agenda — but some are not.
Incumbent U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican, is on the agenda, but Democrat nominee Howard Swint, her opponent for the 2nd District U.S. House seat, is not.
"I didn't get a whiff of this thing from the chamber, although other candidates obviously have," Swint said on Tuesday.
The annual Business Summit, held at The Greenbrier, opens today. It is the premier gathering of business, education and government leaders in the state. It regularly draws hundreds of attendees.
Swint is an associate broker for West Virginia Commercial, a Charleston-based commercial real estate company.
"I've been responsible for millions of dollars of commercial real estate transactions over the years," he said. "Plus, I'm a small business owner. I own four townhouses in Loudon Heights and a duplex in Edgewood. It's a half-million dollars of income-producing property that my wife and I work at on the side, and I'm very proud of that. My footprint in the business community is as big as my opponent's."
Asked if he will call the chamber to request a spot on the agenda, Swint said, "I have no expectation that the planners of this event are going to allow me to express my views on the 2nd Congressional District race, even though I am eminently qualified from a business standpoint. They know how to reach me."
Chamber spokesman Pat Gallagher said, "The chamber, with one exception, did not invite any of the major political candidates to the Business Summit. Rather, those folks reached out to the chamber. Specifically the governor, Sen. Manchin, Congressman McKinley, Congresswoman Capito and (Republican gubernatorial candidate) Bill Maloney asked if they could be on the program. So that's why those folks are here.
"Curiously enough, back in April, John Raese said he would not come to the chamber meeting," Gallagher said.
Raese is the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate. He is challenging Joe Manchin for the seat Manchin now occupies.
"There was no communication (from Raese) asking to be on the program," Gallagher said. "That's why he is not on."
Raese spokesman Josh Sowards said, "Mr. Raese never received an invitation. I believe in July an article came out about the summit. John was expecting to get an invitation in the mail. We've never been contacted by the chamber, never made any contact with the chamber.