Raese has never shied away from a fight. He's run for - and lost - three Senate races and a governor's race.
Raese is the head of Greer Industries, a network of businesses that include the largest limestone producer in West Virginia, a multi-state steel producer, West Virginia Radio Corp. and The Dominion Post newspaper. Raese and his brothers inherited much of the business from their grandparents.
A millionaire businessman, he's never feared to speak his mind, something Democrats deftly used to help sink him in 2010. He joked he earned his money the old-fashioned way - by inheriting it.
Still, he gave Manchin an unexpectedly tough race in 2010. Raese, for instance, took advantage of Manchin's sometimes-complex positions on issues.
Raese's strategy was simple: raise questions about Manchin's conservative bona fides, tie him to the unpopular Obama administration and hope for low Democratic and high Republican turnout.
But two things happened that turned the race Manchin's s way.
First, a brouhaha erupted after the revelation that a casting call for an anti-Manchin ad paid for by the National Republican Senatorial Committee called for actors who looked "hicky" to portray West Virginians. Raese didn't have anything to do with the ad, but the stir caused by it played into the Democrats' hands.
Then Manchin - who had taken his time in buying advertising for his campaign - fought back. Raese was something of a blank canvas to many West Virginia voters and Democrats filled it in by hitting Raese for his wealth.
Raese is rarely heard from except when running for public office. He has said he's off running his business, including a steel business in Ohio and a limestone business in Pendleton County, as well as his media interests.
"Somebody has to run these things; that's primarily what I'm doing," Raese said.
Democrats seized on those interests, attacking Raese's businesses and Florida home.
"I don't know how I'm out of state, first of all," Raese said. "Our companies have been doing business in West Virginia since 1905, we were established in 1917, and coming up in a few years, we're going to have over 100 years of business in West Virginia."
In December 2010, Raese told the Daily Mail he was worn out and not sure he would again seek public office. He's obviously changed his mind.
If Raese is private between elections, Manchin is the opposite. He's a classic retail politician. On Tuesday, in his Charleston office, he stopped to chat with the janitorial staff as his aides pleaded with him to get on the road.
"Maybe that's good, bad or ugly, but I'm not the consummate politician like a Bill Clinton, sitting out there hammering it everyday," Raese said.
Contact writer Ry Rivard at ry.riv...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1796.