CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- As political prognosticators across West Virginia wait to see if Secretary of State Natalie Tennant will enter the race for U.S. Senate, at least one other Democrat is still weighing a run of his own.
Mike Callaghan, former state party chairman, said Tuesday he still hasn't decided against a Senate campaign.
"The truth of the matter is, I am considering (entering) the race," Callaghan said Tuesday by phone.
Callaghan first expressed his interest late last year. Days after Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va, announced her campaign for the Senate seat, Callaghan told the Daily Mail he would also be interested if Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., was not in the race.
Rockefeller announced in January he would not seek re-election.
Since then, a slew of Democratic potentials have passed on the race: former Sen. Carte Goodwin, former Gov. Gaston Caperton, Rep. Nick Rahall, state Supreme Court Justice Robin Davis, former state National Guard leader Allen Tackett, and private attorneys Nick Preservati and Ralph Baxter.
Callaghan has been mum on his own decision. It appeared he might have opted in to the race Tuesday morning though, when accounts on social media networks Twitter and Facebook both said Callaghan would run for Senate.
Callaghan said he had heard about the accounts hitting the Internet, but said he was surprised at their creation and had nothing to do with them. Both were deleted within a few hours of their creation.
An attorney by trade, Callaghan has spent time in both the private and public sectors. From 1992 to 2000 he worked as an assistant U.S. attorney before leaving in 2001 to become the cabinet secretary for the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.
Since 2007 he's worked as a partner at his own private law firm. Recently he's represented a number of clients in very visible cases: former George Washington High School student Katelyn Campbell, as well as Robert and Kim Woodruff. Robert Woodruff is the man Mingo Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury allegedly tried to frame repeatedly after Kim Woodruff reportedly called off a romantic relationship with the judge.
If Callaghan does enter the race, he'd find a familiar candidate in Capito.
After serving as Democratic party chairman from 2001 to 2003, Callaghan won the 2006 Democratic primary in the second congressional district race. Capito's campaign out-raised Callaghan's by more than $1 million, and she bested him on election day by more than 20,000 votes.