A local financial consultant and lawmaker, both Republicans, are poised to make a run for Congress.
Ron Walters Jr., 29, will announce his candidacy for the second congressional district this morning at an event in Poca. Delegate Suzette Raines, 29, said Monday she would almost certainly enter the race as well.
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., has announced she'll vacate the seat to run for U.S. Senate. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., will retire when his term ends in 2014.
Walters is the son of Delegate Ron Walters, R-Kanawha, and the brother of state Sen. Chris Walters, R-Putnam. The younger Ron Walters works at his father's insurance and financial consulting firm.
"We're going to focus intently on putting West Virginians back to work and securing a strong future for our future generations here in West Virginia," Walters said Monday.
"And I think that comes about by reversing the regulations the EPA put upon us, upon our coal mines and our power plants and our farmers and our small businesses."
Walters, seeking office for the first time, said he wants to downsize the federal government and limit the amount of "government interference" in the day-to-day life of West Virginians.
He said he would elaborate in his announcement today. He's planning a similar event later today in Martinsburg.
Raines, a freshman delegate, said she was recently talking with others interested in the race about recruiting a good candidate. At some point, the conversation turned to her running for Congress.
"I would say that it is very likely that I will enter the race," Raines said.
She said she's received many phone calls urging her to run, and the website www.Draft
SuzetteRaines.com was recently created. When so many people call, Raines said she has to at least consider running.
Right now she is evaluating the amount of "grassroots" and financial support she has before making a decision. Raines said she expects to make a decision within the next week.
The pair joins an increasingly crowded GOP primary field. Former Maryland lawmaker and GOP party chairman Alex Mooney recently moved to the state and announced his candidacy. Monday former presidential appointee and Kanawha County Delegate Charlotte Lane also kicked off her campaign.