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Justice spent $80,000 on 453+ television ads

This week gubernatorial candidate Jim Justice launched the first ads for West Virginia’s 2016 election, which you can view here.

The Gazette-Mail’s David Gutman interviewed Grant Herring, a spokesperson for Justice earlier this week, about the advertisements.  Herring said the ad would air in “heavy rotation” in markets around the state but he declined to release the amount spent on the ad buy. 

So I decided to find out.

This is kind of an arduous process but that’s all it is. It is not impossible thanks to the Federal Communications Commission’s political files. Essentially these “political files” are a library of information for every single political ad that runs on television. This includes ads on all levels – national, state and local.

Because I had some time today I looked up the political file for every TV station in West Virginia.

From there, I turned to the FCC’s political files, which are found here.

It was a bit of a process but here’s what I figured out about Justice’s ad buy:

For the week of Oct. 14 to Oct. 20, Justice spent $39,497 on more than 225 ads.

For the week of Oct. 21 to Oct. 27, Justice spent $41,494 on more than 228 ads.

Total those two up and Justice spent $80,991 on more than 453 ads that will air on 9 different television stations in West Virginia.

Why do I keep saying “more than” you might ask?

That’s because one station – WOWK – did not report exactly how many ads were purchased.

Every other station posted a breakdown of how many ads will run during which programs (in case you didn’t know the cost of ads changes depending on the program and the time it airs). WOWK has not posted said document – yet. It is possible they will add this to their FCC files.

Here’s a breakdown of how many adds were purchased at each station (with the area served and their network).

  1. 91 – WBOY (Clarksburg/NBC)
  2. 75 – WVVA (Beckley-Bluefield/NBC)
  3. 74 – WDTV (WDTV/CBS)
  4. 74 – WTRF (Wheeling/CBS)
  5. 69 – WSAZ (Charleston-Huntington/NBC)
  6. 48 – WCHS (Charleston-Huntington/ABC)
  7. 12 – WVFX (Clarksburg/FOX)
  8. 10 – WQCW (Charleston-Huntington/CW)

Again remember that WOWK is not on the list for the aforementioned reason.

Here’s a breakdown of the amount spent at each station:

  1. $25,475 – WSAZ
  2. $23,185 – WBOY
  3. $10,535 – WVVA
  4. $6,780 – WCHS
  5. $5,850 – WDTV
  6. $4,338 – WTRF
  7. $2,720 – WOWK
  8. $1,500 – WQCW
  9. $608 – WVFX

The ads that will be airing for the next two weeks will be on a variety of different shows. They include morning, midday and evening news programs, late evening shows (Jimmy Kimmel, the Tonight Show, Late Show), game or reality shows (the Price is Right, Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, the Voice, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Dancing with the Stars) and other TV programs (Entertainment Tonight, Extra, Inside Edition, Judge Judy, Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz,  The Good Wife, Criminal Minds, Rizzoli and Isles and Nashville).

Pre-candidacy filings for Oct. 5-13

We are officially 109 days away from the last day when candidates can file their candidacy paperwork to run for office in 2016.

On the election side, we are  210 days away from West Virginia’s primary election (May 10) and 392 days away from the general election (Nov. 8).

Here’s the latest roundup of the newest pre-candidacy filings that were submitted with the secretary of state’s office since I updated the 2016 Election Guide last week. You can find the guide here.


  • James Brennan of Princeton became the 14th person (4 Democrats, 4 Republicans, 3 Independents, 1 Libertarian, 1 constitution, 1 unaffiliated) to file pre-candidacy papers to run for the state’s highest office. He filed as an independent on October 7.

House of Delegates

  • Riley Keaton (R-Spencer) joined the race in the 11th district, which was previously represented by Bob Ashley (R-Roane) who last month was appointed by the governor to fill David Nohe’s old seat.
  • James Merrill (D-Morgantown) joined the race in district 51. He becomes the fourth new candidate (three Democrats – John R. Williams, Michael Wolfe – and one Republican – Eric T.R. Finch) to enter the race.

    The district is currently made up of four Republicans (Cindy Frich, Brian Kurchaba, Amanda Pasdon and Joe Statler) and one Democrat (Barbara Evans Fleischauer). Thus far Frich and Pasdon are the only incumbents who have not filed their pre-candidacy papers.

State Senate

  • Thomas H. Ewing (R-Hico) is the first challenger to enter the race in District 10, which is currently represented by Bill Laird (D-Fayette), who hasn’t filed his pre-candidacy papers yet.


  • Anthony Bisaha (Princeton, Family Court Judge, 12th Circuit Division)
  • Patricia Tolle Hill(Morgantown, Family Court Judge, 20th Circuit Division 2)
  • Randal Minor (Morgantown, Family Court Judge, 20th Circuit, Division 1)
  • William Douglas Witten (Parkersburg, Circuit Court Judge, 7th Circuit, Division 1). Witten was appointed by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin in July.

An update on the latest filings for 2016 election

Here are the newest pre-candidacy filings that were done since I last updated the 2016 Election Guide, which you can find elsewhere on this blog.

House of Delegates

  • Thomas C Combs (D-West Union) enters the 6th district race for the seat currently held by Delegate William Romine (R-West Union), who previously filed pre-candidacy papers to seek re-election.
  • Billy Jack Chaffin II (D-Barboursville) enters the 18th district race for the seat currently held by Delegate Kelli Sobonya (R-Barboursville). Sobonya is running for re-election and no one else has entered the race.
  • Thomas R. Tull (D) enters the 38th district race for the seat currently held by Delegate Patrick Lane (R-Cross Lanes). Lane has filed undeclared pre-candidacy papers. Tull enters an already crowded field, alongside Democrat Harvey Peyton (Nitro) and Republicans Nancy Reagan Foster (Scott Depot), David A Bender (Cross Lanes) and Bob Keller (Cross Lanes)
  • Rod Snyder (D-Shepherdstown) enters the 67th district race for the seat currently held by Delegate Stephen Skinner (D-Shepherdstown), who is running for state Senate. Also running are Republicans Daniel Swisher (Harpers Ferry) and Riley M. Moore (Harpers Ferry).

State Senate

  • Greg Smith (D-Parkersburg) enters the 3rd district race for the seat currently held by Donna Boley (R-Mineral Wells), who has filed to run for re-election. Samuel Winans (R-Parkersburg) is the only other potential candidate to previously enter the race.

U.S. House of Representatives

  • Marc Savitt (R-Martinsburg) enters the 2nd district race for the seat currently held by Alex Mooney (R). Mooney is expected to run for re-election. Fellow Republican Kenneth Reed (Charleston) has previously filed paperwork.


  • Christopher Workman (Chapmanville – Family Court Judge)
  • Theresa Cogar Turner (Elkins – Family Court Judge)
  • Carrie Webster (Charleston – Circuit Court Judge)

Attorney General

  • Mark A Hunt (D-Charleston) becomes the second Democrat to enter race seeking to challenge incumbent candidate Patrick Morrisey (R-Charleston), who is running for re-election. Democrat David Higgins previously filed papers to run.