With more than a year to go until the 2014 May Primary Election, a number of potential U.S. Senate and U.S. House candidates in West Virginia are continuing to weigh their options.
Longtime West Virginia Auditor Glen Gainer is one of them.
The Wood County resident says he’ll make a decision within the next few months on a possible 2014 run for the Democrat nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives in the First Congressional District.
“Running for Congress is something that I’ve always wanted to do politically. Before I got into politics, that’s where I always wanted to end up,” he said on Wednesday’s MetroNews Talkline.
However, Gainer, who is in his 21st year as state Auditor, says he does not know if now is the right time to attempt the move. He is currently overseeing the statewide implementation of a more than $100 million planning system project to unify West Virginia’s financial accounting systems on one platform.
Whatever his decision, Gainer says it is clear that changes are needed on Capitol Hill. “As a citizen, it’s just shameful what’s going on D.C. on both sides and the gamesmanship and brinksmanship that’s going on every single day while the nation burns,” he said.
Republican Congressman David McKinley, the current U.S. House member for the First District, was first elected in 2010 and reelected in 2012.
In the Second Congressional District, no incumbent will be seeking reelection next year since Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito will be running for the U.S. Senate.
There are reports former Kanawha County Senator Steve Harrison, a Republican, will announce his candidacy soon.
Possible Democrat candidates for that Second District seat include former state Democratic Party Chairman Nick Casey and Kanawha County Senator Erik Wells.
“Nick’s been truly involved and so I think that could be extremely positive,” state Democratic Party Chairman Larry Puccio said. “I think Erik has been an outstanding state Senator and done a great job.”
Third District Congressman Nick Rahall will be up for reelection next year. He was first elected to the U.S. House in 1976.
As of now, no Democrat has yet announced plans to run for U.S. Senate in 2014. Current U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller is not seeking another term.
There are reports Charleston Attorney Nick Preservati will be in the race. “It’s a fresh face that truly understands the needs of West Virginia,” Puccio said of Preservati who has not run for political office before now.
He says Preservati could bring a lot to the job. “His family’s been in the coal business. They understand what it takes to continue to create jobs in West Virginia, what it takes to continue to mine coal in a tough environment today.”
Other names that have come up in discussions about potential Democrat U.S. Senate candidates include Supreme Court Justice Robin Davis, Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, Wheeling Attorney Ralph Baxter and former state Democrat Party Chairman Mike Callaghan.