CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant will announce today she is running for U.S. Senate, according to emails sent Monday and over the weekend to supporters.
Both emails, sent to supporters in the Charleston and Beckley areas, confirm Tennant, a long-rumored contender for the Democratic nomination, is planning at least two announcement events today.
A 9:30 a.m. event is planned for the Tamarack arts and craft center in Beckley. There is also an 11:30 a.m. event slated for the Culture Center in Charleston. Additional events are expected in Morgantown and the Northern and Eastern panhandles.
"This will be a time for celebration and a time for US ALL to roll up our sleeves and help get Natalie elected," the email to Charleston-area supporters said.
The emails were provided to the Daily Mail Monday on the condition of anonymity.
Talking points that stress Tennant's perceived positives as a candidate and question actions of her potential opponent also started to circulate over the weekend.
In January Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., announced he will not seek re-election. In late 2012, longtime Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., announced she is running for the Senate seat.
Although roughly a dozen prominent Democrats were at first mentioned as potential Senate contenders, many publicly opted out of the race. Those Democrats include Rep. Nick Rahall, former Sen. Carte Goodwin, former Gov. Gaston Caperton, former state National Guard leader Major Gen. Allen Tackett, state Supreme Court Justice Robin Davis and attorneys Nick Preservati and Ralph Baxter.
Following those announcements Tennant was widely considered the Democrats' strongest remaining candidate.
Former state Democratic Party Chairman Mike Callaghan told the Daily Mail in July he was still considering a bid for Senate.
"If Natalie's running, I am not," Callaghan said Monday in a phone interview.