And We're Off...

By: Scott Saxton
By: Scott Saxton

Highlights and other random notes from the first day of the filing period for office in West Virginia.

Cabell County Commissioner Bob Bailey (D) wants to be the next mayor of Huntington.  By the looks of this invitation to his fundraiser, he has a heavy hitter in his corner.  Or does he?

West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin appears on the cover of Bailey's fundraiser invite, which is set for January 24th at Pullman Plaza.  However, when you open the invitation, you see that Manchin is NOT one of the hosts for the event. 

So is this a Manchin endorsement?  No, says the gov's staff.  They say Manchin is a friend and thinks highly of Mr. Bailey, but the governor does not "officially" endorse candidates.  They say they can't control the use of these photos once others have them, so they don't mind when people use them.

Theoretically, current mayor and Bailey opponent David Felinton (D) could use his own picture with the governor as well, neutralizing the Manchin effect.

Incidentally, the list of hosts for the Bailey fundraiser include Robert Shell, Lyle Stowers, Edsel Rollyson, Diane Foreman, Nick Ciccarello, John Hankins, Joe Randolph, Charles Draper, Steve Williams, Bradley Richardson and Paul Turman.

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Dave Higgins started it.  The current member of the House of Delegates out of the 30th District also serves on Charleston City Council.  Governor Manchin appointed Higgins last year to replace Jon Amores, who took a job in state government.

Now, John Miller hopes to follow in Higgin's footsteps.  Miller is holding a press conference Friday at 11am to announce his candidacy for the House of Delegates in the 30th District.  He says if he's successful, he will still keep his seat on Charleston City Council.  There is nothing in state law to prevent a council member from serving in the WV House or Senate.

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Mea Culpa: Apologies to Thornton Cooper (D), a candidate for Congress out of the 2nd District in WV, who was inadvertently left out of our story about Richie Robb's consideration of a run for Congress.  Robb says he is leaning heavily toward a run as a Democrat.  In the story, I mentioned that WV State Senator John Unger was the only announced candidate on the Democrat side at the time.  Cooper announced his candidacy on October 4th.

Cooper lost previous primary races for WV Senate against Brooks McCabe and South Charleston mayor against Mark Wolford.  He sued to stop the user fee in the city of Charleston.  Charleston won.

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When Saturday Night Live started in 1975, the cast was called the "Not Ready for Prime-Time Players."

That might be how the WV Republican Party feels at times this month.

West Virginia Republicans WILL vote for a presidential nominee on February 5th, but not all the national media appears to know that.  I read an article in Time Magazine just two weeks ago that still mentioned WV's primary election was set for May 13th.  (Technically, the primary stays put.  The GOP in WV is only moving up the presidential nominating process.)  Tim Russert of NBC's Meet the Press also failed to mention WV in a list of GOP Primaries set for what's being called Tsunami Tuesday on February 5th.

One GOP insider tells me the party might not be doing enough to publicize it.  This is the first attempt at moving up West Virginia's presidential nominating process in an attempt to make a difference on the national stage.  So far, that national stage appears crowded.

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