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Rahall announces intentions to run for re-election

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - For the 20th time, U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall is running to represent West Virginia in Washington, D.C.

The longtime Democratic congressman plans to send out a fundraising/announcement letter today, said spokesman Allen Crow. Although there were rumors of such a letter before, this is the first time a spokesperson for Rahall has confirmed to the Daily Mail the congressman's intentions.

"The congressman is actively running for re-election and believes, part with Senator Rockefeller leaving the Senate, Congressman Rahall's experience and seniority is more needed than ever," Crow said in a phone interview.

"It's going to be more important than ever to have someone in Congress to put West Virginia first and fight for West Virginia coal jobs and stand up those who want to conduct a war on coal."

Earlier this year fellow longtime Democrat U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., announced he would retire when his term expires in 2014. Many speculated Rahall would challenge current U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., for the seat, but the congressman announced earlier this month he did not plan to pursue the Senate.

Meanwhile, the GOP continues its attacks on Rahall; the latest push might resonate with football fans.

The National Republican Congressional Committee says today it has added Rahall to its "Red Zone Program," an attempt to unseat seven Democrats from their House positions in 2014. The seven districts voted for the GOP presidential candidate in the last three elections, and the party thinks the spots could be vulnerable for a flop.

Despite that, Crow  said "(Rahall) plans to campaign very hard and very vigorously and fight back very strongly against the big special interest and out-of-state folks who want to come in and spend millions to try and beat him."

Right now there isn't a GOP challenger in the race.

Freshman state Sen. Bill Cole, R-Mercer, was reportedly a prospect for the NRCC, but Cole hasn't announced his plans yet. Former Delegate Rick Snuffer, who lost to Rahall in the last election, is also rumored to be considering another run for the seat.

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