A whole bunch of pre-candidacy filings last week as November began.
Here’s the latest roundup of the newest pre-candidacy filings that were submitted with the secretary of state’s office since I last updated the 2016 Election Guide. You can find the guide here.
House of Delegates
- Samantha Fooce (Point Pleasant) became the first Democrat to file to run in District 14, which is currently represented by Republican Jim Butler, who previously filed pre-candidacy papers to run for re-election. No other Republicans have filed in the race.
- Republican Jarred Cannon (Huntington) filed paperwork seeking to run in District 17. He became the first non-incumbent Republican to file. Democrats Chad Lovejoy and Joe Fincham (both of Huntington) previously filed papers to run, while fellow Dem Doug Reynolds, one of two incumbents, has yet to file his papers. Incumbent Republican Matthew Rohrbach previously filed his pre-candidacy papers.
- The race for District 19 got a bit more crowded this week after Henry Dillon of Kenova filed his papers to run as a Republican. He joins John Creamer of Huntington as the only GOP members to file so far. Incumbent Dems Ken Hicks and Don Perdue have yet to file their paperwork.
- Republican Sam Freeman (Gary) joined Brian Harrison (Paynesville) as the Republicans seeking to grab control of District 26. Democrat Clif Moore currently represents the district but yet has yet to file his papers. Two Democrats – Scotty Ray Hagerman (Warriormine) and Robert Rocky Seay (Princeton) – have already filed pre-candidacy papers.
- Charleston resident Benjamin Adams (Democrat) entered the race in District 35, which is currently represented by Democrat Andrew Byrd and Republicans John B. McCuskey, Eric Nelson and Chris Stansbury. The district’s representation will definitely change, as Stansbury is running for the 17 District of the state Senate – a seat which is currently occupied by Democrat Corey Palumbo, who recently announced his intentions to run for re-election. McCuskey is running for state auditor. Nelson has already filed pre-candidacy papers to run for re-election, while Byrd has not. Beyond Adams, three Republicans have also filed their paperwork. They include Matt Kelly and Lance Wheeler, both of St. Albans, and Keith Alan Pauley of Charleston.
- The race for District 51 got even more crowded after Democrats Evan Hansen, John Lucas (both of Morgantown) and Barry Wendell (Fairmont) joined the already large field of potential candidates. As of today, seven Democrats have filed pre-candidacy papers for a district that has five seats. They include Democrat Barbara Evans Fleischauer, who is running for re-election. The other Dems to previously file are John R. Williams, Michael Wolfe and James Merrill – all of Morgantown. On the Republican side of the race, only one non-incumbent candidate has filed – Eric T.R. Finch of Fairview. Incumbents Brian Kurchaba and Joe Statler have filed re-election paperwork, while Cindy Frich and Amanda Pasdon have yet to do so.
- Although he has yet to indicate which office he will seek, incumbent Republican Larry Faircloth could face two new challengers in the District 60 race. Last week Gary W. Kelley (Martinsburg), also a Republican, filed his papers. Prior to that, Republican Stephen Marshall Wilson (Hedgesville) filed his papers.
- Jordan Ray Bridges (Logan) became the second Republican to enter the race in District 7, which is currently represented by Democrat Art Kirkendoll, who has filed his pre-candidacy papers to run for re-election. Republican Gary Johngrass of Branchland previously filed his paperwork.
- Lora Dyer (Walton, Circuit Court Judge, 5th Circuit)