CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Tuesday marks nine months until the 2014 May Primary Election in West Virginia and no Democrat with statewide name recognition has yet launched a U.S. Senate campaign.

State Democratic Party Chairman Larry Puccio said that could soon change.

“There’s no question that we will have a candidate and it’s an individual that has worked very hard and has been committed to putting everything in and dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s and I think we’ll have a tremendous candidate,” said Puccio.

He would not confirm if that candidate will be Secretary of State Natalie Tennant who has made no announcements about her political future.

The Marion County native has served as Secretary of State since first being elected in 2008.  Prior to that, she worked in television news at WBOY-TV in Clarksburg and WCHS-TV in Charleston and is a former Mountaineer mascot for West Virginia University.

Puccio would say Tennant would be a strong candidate if she opts to get into the race for the seat U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller currently holds.  Rockefeller is not running for reelection next year.

In Tennant, “I think you have an individual that is a true West Virginian, that is proven.  She is the person that touches the people, shakes the hands, hears their concerns,” said Puccio.

Republican Second District Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito announced her plans to run for the U.S. Senate last fall soon after being reelected for a seventh term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

State Republican Party Chairman Conrad Lucas said Capito has represented West Virginia’s interests well with her agenda on Capitol Hill.

“It’s been very pro-coal, very pro-West Virginia.  It’s been anti-Obamacare.  It’s been very pro-job creation,” he said.  Lucas said, while many people like Tennant, he thinks Capito would be the stronger candidate in any potential race between the two.

There are several other candidates already running for U.S. Senate.

Sheirl Fletcher, a former Republican member of the state House of Delegates from Morgantown, has filed pre-candidacy papers to run for the Democratic nomination U.S. Senate.

Fletchers changed her party affiliation a decade ago and unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. Senate in the 2008 primary against Senator Rockefeller and in the 2010 and 2012 primaries against U.S. Senator Joe Manchin.

Others who have filed include Phil Hudok from Huttonsville who is running with the Constitution Party, Republican Scott “Cody” Regan from Salt Rock, Republican Edwin Ray Vanover from Bluefield and Democrat David Wamsley from Williamstown.

Former TV Anchor Martin Staunton from Beckley has filed to run without a party affiliation.

West Virginia’s Primary Election Day is Tuesday, May 13.

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  • SouthernWV

    Maybe Arch will share some of the money he went to jail for to her campaign

  • RWVValley

    Tennant is Soros related and backed. People need to check out the Soros Secretary of State Project. If you want more Obama, vote for Tennant.

    Capito needs to read the Constitution and vote according to her oath.

    I'll vote for the person willing to vote for our rights and Constitution. Not a D.C. puppet.

    Politics should not be a team sport. When we lose the stakes are high.

    • Magic Mike

      Agreed she will be a great senator.

      • Larry

        You're right, Capito will do a great job.

    • Rodney Hytonen

      I wil take a Soros backing over a David Koch backing EVERY SINGLE TIME!

      But those are happily NOT our only choices and THAT is what we need to realize.

      LOOK at the ONLY NON CORPORATE-OWNED party's positions


      Change your affiliation, and vote Green/Mountain.

      • Magic Mike

        Soros wants wealth redistribution. Something that I will never ever vote for.

  • CaptainQ

    If Natalie Tennant DOES get the Democratic nomination, she better be wearing her track shoes. To have ANY chance to defeat Capito, she's going to have run as fast as she can AWAY from President Obama! If Natalie can keep her distance from Obama, she'll have a shot at it. Otherwise, her U.S. Senate bid will go down in flames.

    • Rodney Hytonen

      The omy reaaon "Obama" is a hot button is because people believe whatever is repeated often enough.

      And corporations - whose ONLY goal is your money (ALL of it!)-can and will afford the MOST money for that REPETITION.

      Aren't people ashamed to be that easily duped?
      Or should I say, BOUGHT;
      -into voting for their own demise?

      For ONE instance, of many: Do you REALLY want to retire without Social Security to depend on?

  • thornton

    Hopefully, Nats understanding of the complex responsibilities facing a US senator is more in focus than the photo accompanying this article...but, I expect that it is not.

    • hughesknight

      I thought the same thing Thornton. Deer in the headlights would be very generous

    • ConservativeRealist


  • Bigfish

    Anything but Shelly Moore Bush. She has not done a thing in congress except protect the interests of big business and Wall Street and would vote to end social security an Medicare if given a chance. She always votes against the interest of every day west Virginians. She is John Boehner's tool

    • Magic Mike

      You do realize big business is run mostly by democrats right?

      • Rodney Hytonen

        Magic Mike, who said Democrats were any better- or even different?

        We have stopped voting for either, and if everyone who doesn't vote because of corporatism on BOTH "sides" were to vote Green/Mountain, we'd have corporate money out of politics.

        • Magic Mike

          You maybe however some people here still think that the rich are only republicans when that is not even close.

  • Brad

    Bring it on! Shelley will crush this Obama ally.

    • al

      Why don't you tell us exactly how she is an Obama ally. Name one thing.

  • hughesknight

    Natalie Tenant is personable. She did not show well in the democratic primary for Governor. With time she could be a viable candidate. This is the party pushing her buttons. She will get her clock cleaned if she runs and will fade into the woodwork. Politics is about timing. This is not her time.

  • Barry Bledsoe

    I wonder how many people would vote for her because they like her personality, she has a nice smile, she has pretty hair, she is a female she is from Marion County, she is a Democrat, she graduated from North Marion High and WVU, was the Mountaineer mascot they remember her on the TV or they recognize her name, but not because they have any idea what she stands for and how she would represent WV? THAT is why WV and Washington politics are in such a shambles! People either don't vote, vote for the wrong people for the wrong reasons, or simply cast an uneducated vote. Come on people! Educate yourselves, and vote your conscience, not the party!

    • Mac

      I just remember her shredding Betty Ireland in a debate for secretary of state. Of course Ken Hechler shredded Betty before that, but she managed to convince everyone that Ken was too old. Maybe he was and Betty is just THAT clueless...

      • TLC

        Betty Ireland did not run against she.

      • ConservativeRealist

        I'm lost...I don't think Natalie ran against Betty...Betty won her election and then opted to not run again...maybe I'm wrong...

    • al

      Name one thing she stands for. Bet you can't.

      • BigBadJohnHenry

        The top-10.
        1. 4 ObamaCare.
        2. 4 Repealing the 2nd amendment.
        3. 4 Immigration Amnesty.
        4. 4 The Muslim Brotherhood.
        5. Anti-Christian.
        6. 4 Abortion.
        7. Anti-coal and gas.
        8. 4 Mountain top removal.
        9. 4 Pelosi and Reid.
        10. 4 progressives.

        • al

          BigBad, you better check your facts because you're full of bigbad crap.

    • Butch

      Barry Bledsoe did they let you out of jail already?

    • Rodney Hytonen

      I woud oly add to look at the ISSUES!

      Anyone who doesn't bravely come out at LEAST as anti-business and especially anti-Wall Street- as Elizabeth Warren, Chris Hedges, Richard D. Wolff, or Cheri Honkala will NEVER get my vote again.

      It's plain what has ruined this country - CORPORATE CAPITALISM.

      They've EVEN bought THE SUPREME COURT, and killed the UNIONS - which were, along with the EPA, West Virginia's ONLY desperate hope.

    • ConservativeRealist

      No Barry, West Virginians want her to don the buckskins once again and go running through the halls of Congress firing her musket!!! Sadly, that is all that many know about politics - what they remember or think they remember - not what the future holds...

  • Shadow

    Being a WVU Mascot and a TV Reporter should be enough qualifications to be a WV Senator. Harry Reid will tell her how to vote and she can look nice on camera.

    • al

      You mean much the same way Capito sucked up to Bush constantly?

      • Shadow

        No, the way you suck up to Obama and his miniions.

        • Rodney Hytonen

          news flash: Not only are actual "liberals" dead against Obama, the Wall Street * Extractiom Industry- Owned (just like Republicans)

          but if you look at ALL the polls on ISSUES -
          (like 'tax the rich- a LOT,"
          "stop extraction/export,"
          "jail banksters and
          regulate Wall Street,"
          "Save (not CUT) SS/Medicare," and "PASS single payer health care,"
          -and BTW REGISTER all guns!)

          - America is DECIDEDLY Liberal -
          Center LEFT
          in the old, Social Democrat
          (like the REST of the world!) sense, of Liberal !

        • Rodney Hytonen

          shadow: Do you consider BUSH to have been a better President than Obama?

        • al

          Oh, good one! You are so smart. For your info, I didn't vote for Obama either time, and wouldn't again. I did however vote for Manchin proudly, and will vote proudly for Tennant.

    • Gabe Athouse

      Were you okay with TV Reporter Palin on a Presidential ticket?

      • Magic Mike

        Palin was governor who done a great job in Alaska. Please get your facts straight.

        • al

          Great job?? How would you know? She didn't even finish one term as Gov.

  • AJ

    Shut up Teanuts. Go Natalie Go!

  • Maxie smith

    Amen Aaron!

  • Aaron

    ^ funny name there mike

  • Dan

    I'll gladly vote for a WVU grad and former Mountaineer mascot.

    • Aaron

      Voters like you are the reason this state/country is in the shape it's in. Vote for someone because of what they stand for and their values. Not because she went to WVU or was the mascot. Liberals like her are ruining this nation and what it stands for.

      • Mac

        Republicans are ruining this nation with their idiocy and fear mongering. All they do is whip people into a frenzy over... 1 God. (Democrats want to take God away from you!) 2. Guns. (Democrats want to take away your guns!) 3. Gays. (Democrats are going to make you gay!) 4. Anything else they deem immoral or moral to get the vote of the Pat Robertson tribe.

        I remember a man with 4 wives talk about "family values". Really? Awful high ground for a man that abandoned his 3rd wife on her death bed to go find number 4. Oh, but feel free to impeach a democrat for not holding to his marriage vows...

        This isn't to say that democrats are any better, they're not. Just don't tell me how great republicans are. I typically find them worse due to the hypocrisy and attitude of "superior morals".

        • Magic Mike

          Last time I checked Obama was a democrat? Just like a hillbilly to get it wrong. Republicans are running nothing. Democrats have had control for 2 years. Time to change it and elect a republican.

          • Magic Mike

            I better clear this one up. Democrats controlled the house and senate for 2 years. Made thing worse. Now they have the presidency and the senate.

          • Rodney Hytonen

            Obama, like Manchin, is NOT a Democrat, no matter what he calls himself!

            They're all fascists now, with more or less secret corporatist agendas.

            "drill on public lands?" Don't you SEE how drilling (& mining) has ruined WV, is killing people weekly up north, and is about to destroy our roads and potable water supply FOREVER?

            The only thing that causes more cancer and boom-and-bust desolation than coal (didn't there used to be a movie theater in your town?) - is Fracking for gas! All those resources we're losing forever, are being EXPORTED!!

            It's time to eject fossil fuel extractionists, and create the hundred of thousands of jobs coal oil and gas have stripped away (and the people their regulatory capture has murdered;) by building an entirely new, renewable, energy infrastructure.

            And we won't do that by allowing even ONE "republican" (including corporatist ALEC so-called "democrats" like Manchin, Hillary, and ALL of WV's politicians!) to remain in any government office.

            Warren/Hedges (Or Stein/Honkala) for 2016 -
            and ALL Green/Mountain politicians where available!
            (Change your affiliation to "Mountain Party" to send a message- NO MORE CORPORATISTS- and jail those bankers and pass Single Payer Health Care to start paying HALF what we do, like the rest of the world!)

            Privatization DOUBLES costs - proven. STOP IT NOW.

          • Rodney Hytonen

            "republicans are ru(i?)ning nothing?"

            Pease don;t post about politics if you don't bother to follow what's happening.

            Turn off FOX (and the feculent right wing radio) and watch C-Span.

        • Magic Mike

          Obama does want to take your guns. You sound like a northern liberal. After the Sandyhook shooting Joe Manchin joined Obama in this effort.

          I suggest you read more CNN.

        • grey4449

          Mac where have you been. Jobs have been lost by the thousands. Crime is up. More people on food stamps than at any time in our history. Bengazi, Fast and Furious, and the IRS anything ring a bell? We have a Democrat Senate and President. Enough said.

        • DonaldH

          You watch too much MSNBC,, Hell, you read too much Charleston Gazette,,

          What democrat was impeached for not holding his marriage vows?

      • al

        Aaron, since you are so smart, why don't you tell us exactly what Tennant's views are on anything, and you can't use the word "Obama" in any way. I'll bet you can't tell us one thing she believes or wants to do.

    • Tina B

      I totally agree Dan -- WVU grad and Mountaineer. I true West Virginian. She didn't grow up with a silver spoon. She grew up like real West Virginians: working hard for every single thing they have ever gotten.

      No bribes, no secret stock heads up, but just plain good old hard work.

  • grey4449

    We the American people need to have a Republican Congress and Senate. We the people need to stop Obama. It doesn't matter if you are Democrat, Republican or Independent. We the people need to stop Obama and the EPA. This country needs coal mining jobs. We need the pipeline from Canada. We need to drill for oil on some federal land and off the shore of the east and west coast states. Letting the Democrats keep the Senate isn't going to stop Obama the EPA or Obamacare. VOTE TO STOP OBAMA.

    • al

      Oh please! You folks need to wake up and realize that coal is going out fast. It doesn't matter who the president is at the time. The sooner our great state wakes up and realizes this fact, the better off we will be. Coal has been great for WV, and we will always need some coal, but the glory days of coal are over.

    • BH

      Capito is for Corporate America/Big Business only. She is against middle class Americans, and Social Security.

      • al

        Yes, and her Daddy was a crook.

        • DonaldH

          OK, and Obama's "daddy" was a Communist--- what's your point about Capito's dad?

          • Butch

            I didnt vote for Obama and I definitely will not vote for Capito. It's that whole apple doesn't fall far from the tree theory.

    • Rodney Hytonen

      ONLY a new, MUCH stronger EPA, can save West Virginia's land, water and air from the resource-EXPORTING frackers, drillers, and strip miners that have DESTROYED our home!

      Isn't it time, after over a century of lies, pollution, cancer, and deaths; that West Virginia REMEMBERS Matewan, and STOPS listening to these HIGHLY PAID liars who want to destroy the little they've left us and move on?

      Do you REALLY think extractionists are into business to CREATE jobs, or SAVE our mountain home? After a CENTURY of DESTROYING those things and then moving on to create NEW horrors like fracking's cancer ponds and ugly industrial parks?

      Rt 50 is starting to look like Elizabeth, New Jersey; and its death toll on the road is rising from ALL those huge "Brine"(=poison cancer chemical) trucks full of our water they've PERMANENTLY fouled! (and which will foul THE REST once it sits in a pond leeching into the Aquifer. The plan: They come back and OWN us like a South American village, by selling us the ONLY (imported) potable water.

      • AX MAN

        Rodney, you need to get some rest and take you pills.

  • Robert W

    She's qualified, but to the left of WV. Whether he personality and charisma can offset her liberal views is the question. I don't think West Virginians want another Joe Manchin.

    • al

      She is no liberal and neither is Joe Manchin. Your party has just gone so far to the right that it makes the Lord himself look liberal.

      • TLC

        Joe is not liberal, but Natalie is in many ways. Not a good fit for WV. I believe she ran for Governor and lost. I didn't see that in this story.

        • Magic Mike

          That is why Joe votes with Obama 99 percent of the time.

          • al

            Bull! Who told you that, the NRA?

          • Charlie

   will let you look for your self on how our represatives have voted on every bill. Federal and state level , make the choice yourself. Be empowered not a suckers to campaign slams and adds.:)

        • grey4449

          He voted to send tanks and f-16 fighter jets to Egypt. He did just what Obama wanted. Enough said.

      • Robert W

        I'm a life long Democrat.

    • Tina B

      Left of WV? Joe Manchin and Tennant? That is laughable. They are moderate right. The GOP in this state are on the right side of crazy.

      Until the WVGOP moves to the center, they will never reign in WV.

      • Rodney Hytonen

        Hear, Hear, Tina!

      • DonaldH

        You know, searching for political positions of Nat I came across a HuffPO piece that described Shelly Moore as a "Moderate" -- how's that square with you saying she's a right wing extremist--- but I bet you advocated that the Boy Scouts were a Right-Wing bunch of Nazi sympathizers too....

      • Magic Mike

        Only one thing Manchin gets mad at. Coal and I am not so sure he is for coal. He talks the talk. But that is about it.

      • AX MAN

        Tina, all the Repub's need to do, is up the welfare checks, Joe and Tennant are both typical Dem's, they know all they have to do is, keep the welfare checks flowing, as to them being moderate right, is laughable.