WSAZ - Blogs - At the Capitol

Nov 30, 2011- 2012: A Year of Rematches?

By: Michael Hyland
By: Michael Hyland

A third potential rematch is shaping up in the region as the battle for power in 2012 draws closer.

If the theme of 2008 was one of change, then perhaps the theme of 2012 is redemption.

Former Ohio Rep. Charlie Wilson (D) announced Wednesday he wants a rematch against Rep. Bill Johnson (R), who represents the Buckeye State's sixth congressional district.

Wilson lost his 2010 re-election bid to Johnson by about 10,000 votes out of more than 200,000 that were cast.

In a news release Wilson said, “It is simple: Bill Johnson has failed to provide leadership on creating jobs in eastern and southern Ohio. He has failed to develop a plan to get our area’s economy moving again. And, he has failed to improve the toxic political environment in Washington, DC.”

Mr. Wilson, welcome to the rematch party.

On Monday, Bill Maloney (R) filed his pre-candidacy papers for the West Virginia governor's race, indicating he's considering another run against Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D).

Maloney is vowing to raise more money this time around, after spending about $2.5 million of his own cash in 2011.

Several weeks ago, former state Sen. Mike Oliverio (D) announced he wants a rematch against Rep. David McKinley (R) to represent West Virginia's first congressional district.

Of course, the reasons are many and varied as to why each of these men would want to face off again so soon. For one, their races were close in 2010 and 2011.

Republicans are banking on President Obama dragging down other candidates on the ticket. Democrats are hopeful local voters will take out their frustrations with Obama but continue to support Democratic candidates on the down-ticket races.

As for the congressional races, these candidates certainly see that public sentiment toward Congress is at an all-time low. Several polls have shown Congress' approval rating is in the single digits.

We can look into the crystal ball and make guesses until we pass out, but at least one thing is clear: 2012 is shaping up to give voters a major sense of dejavu.

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