CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia voters have sent Nick Rahall on to the general election for a chance to complete his fourth decade in Congress.
Rahall defeated retired Army officer Richard Ojeda in Tuesday's 3rd District Democratic primary.
Early, unofficial returns showed Rahall with a commanding lead.
It marked only the third primary challenge for Rahall since 2000.
Rahall will seek his 20th term in the U.S. House in November. Standing in his way will be veteran Republican state lawmaker Evan Jenkins, a former Democrat who switched parties last summer.
Following his victory, Rahall released the following statement:
“I am honored to receive this nomination, the lines in this campaign are now clearly drawn: it's West Virginia working families against out-of-state billionaires and their puppet, Evan Jenkins. Billionaires from New York City will do everything they can to try and tear us down, because they know that no one stands stronger in Washington against their reckless agenda that threatens our workers, our seniors, our coal miners and our economy. But I have news for them -- the voices of West Virginia working families are infinitely stronger than their shadowy money, and we welcome this fight to protect our West Virginia way of life.”