Jennifer Smith/MetroNews

Secretary of State Natalie Tennant and her husband state Senator Erik Wells were all smiles during the state’s 150th birthday celebration earlier this summer.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Several sources have confirmed for MetroNews that West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant will announce next week that she is seeking the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate in 2014.  The Washington Post is also reporting that Tennant will enter the race with a series of campaign stops, likely on Tuesday.

The seat is opening up next year because Senator Jay Rockefeller is retiring.

Tennant’s expected entry sets up a likely battle with Republican Shelley Moore Capito.  The 2nd District Congresswoman announced earlier this year that she is running for Rockefeller’s seat.

There was no immediate comment from Tennant’s office, although she is said to be contacting people and letting them know of her decision.

Tennant has been mulling a run for some time, even as a series of potential candidates decided not to run.  Tennant is said to be encouraged by a recent West Virginia Poll showing that if the election were held today, Capito would get 45 percent, Tennant 40 and 15 percent undecided.

The Marion County native is in her second four-year term as Secretary of State.  She will be able to run in 2014 without giving up her current position.  Her term expires in 2016.

Tennant has also been mentioned as a possible gubernatorial candidate in 2016. She ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for governor in a 2011 special election, finishing third.

Tennant, 45, first made a name for herself while a student at WVU where she became the first woman chosen at the Mountaineer, the mascot for the University.  She graduated in 1991 with a journalism degree and spent most of the next two decades as a television reporter and anchor in Clarksburg and Charleston.

Her husband, Erik Wells, is a Democratic State Senator representing Kanawha County.

There was evidence earlier Friday that Tennant had decided to join the race when the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee sent out a release of a Charleston Gazette story about her.  The subject line was, “Tennant’s cost saving measures saves West Virginia $3 million.”

In that story, Tennant described herself as a “fiscal hawk.”

The GOP wasted no time responding.  National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Brook Hougesen released a statement calling Tennant, “a cookie-cutter liberal.”


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  • Larry

    Another way you can tell if a woman is liberal is that they like to emasculate their husbands by not taking their last names when they marry.

  • Larry

    Liberals believe in government action to achieve equal opportunity and equality for all. It is the duty of the government to alleviate social ills and to protect civil liberties and individual and human rights. Believe the role of the government should be to guarantee that no one is in need. Liberal policies generally emphasize the need for the government to solve problems.
    Conservatives believe in personal responsibility, limited government, free markets, individual liberty, traditional American values and a strong national defense. Believe the role of government should be to provide people the freedom necessary to pursue their own goals. Conservative policies generally emphasize empowerment of the individual to solve problems.

  • Fan

    Helped military vote? What are you smoking? She has done absolutely NOTHING to help this state. Show me one election fraud she has 'busted up'. AND. The $$ she returned were only returned because she didnt have the authority to spend it, which she admitted herself. Capito has always been for the people, for the military and the senior citizens. Tennant has been a college mascot, a TV anchor, and a horrible sec. of state. The last thing this state needs is her as a Senator. If you want more of Obama, vote for Tennant. If not, vote for anyone else

  • Steve

    Yeah which, in case you missed it, is a BAD THING.

  • Tim C

    Go ahead.... My fellow West Virginians..... Put another stupid democrat in office.

  • BAC

    Shelley always runs best, most impressively, when she has a real opponent. The national GOP will have fun with their ads exposing how to the left of WV votes Natalie is...if they see any needs to do ads against her at all.

  • DonaldH

    All of you folks on here that are so giddy over Tennant running for Senate tell us not only your position on the 2nd but also tell us what you think of the NRA... And while you're at it-- tell us if you are a "Friend of Coal" and also if the last Presidential election were today and knowing what you know today--- who would you have voted for..... Let's see just who the electorate that supports Tennant really is...

  • DonaldH

    She is a MOVEON and George Soros stooge-- she'll have plenty of money,,, and she'll likely be credited with more votes than she actually receives....

  • DonaldH

    He's a political hack as well.

  • DonaldH

    Natalie is a George Soros underling.. Nothing more, nothing less..

  • Helen

    C.F.T, I am very curious what your definition of liberal and conservative is. I've never quite understood what people mean when they use these terms.

    Thanks in advance.

  • BAC

    Where has voting Democrat got West Virginia in the past 83 years? We're last in almost every category. And now they are destroying our main industry (coal) which not only employs thousands of miners, but produces seven spin-off jobs for each miner's job, and is the No. 1 source of our state's tax revenue. It will be beneficial to have a Senator from each party, because the Dems aren't always going to control that body.

  • blugldmn

    A fiscal hawk..... LMAO.....

  • blugldmn

    Can you say attention whore!

    You fools in the mines go ahead and vote but when you lose your job don't ask the taxpayer for help.

    She will be just another stooge for Obama and the progressive left.

    She will be beholden to those who will fund her campaign which isn't WV's ...

    She is being funded and managed from interests outside the state.

    Only a fool would vote for a fool like Natalie Tennant , she is void of any solutions to the problems facing WV.

  • tim

    Patrick Mcgeehan for U.S. Senate in 2014

  • College Ave

    Ask around any courthouse in West Virginia and see what the people who actually run our elections think of the job Ms. Tennant has done as Sec. of State. The woman couldn't organize and manage a county fair. Nevertheless, she'll put her arm around the senior citizen and her hand on the "working man's" shoulder, look deeply in their eyes, and make promises to "fight for the little guy" and to give everyone everything they need in life. My faith in representative government continues to erode.

  • Matt

    She only gave back the 3 million because she knew she was going to run and it's great press for her.....If she gets elected (which I highly doubt), let's see how much she gives back then.

    We will never see great people elected. Great qualified, honest individuals know better than to get involved with politics, they leave that to less quialified crooks. Both R's and D's are guilty of this.

  • Magic Mike


  • Magic Mike

    Who would want her for governor anyway. Ewwwwwwwwwwww.

  • Magic Mike

    Ya however she has been in politics far longer.

  • Magic Mike

    Tennant is a yes man for Obama. We do not need anymore yes people for Obama.

  • Diane Parker

    Go for it!
    You speak well- you are poised, you are knowledgeable and youare a woman.
    Wish your mother could be here to cheer with me!!!

  • Jt

    Long live the King!

  • Teufel

    So true, sad but true

  • FWare

    This is a bad idea. Both U.S. Senators from the same congressional district, county and town? I wonder how the "other" people outside of Farmington and Marion county feel about this decision. Tennant is probably no better or worse than Capito, but that's too much power and influence for one area regardless of how it is used. The possible outcome in this situation should offend all who know anything about the spirit of our representative democracy. I respectfully but firmly say NO!

  • D.P.

    Shelley will win this race VERY EASILY! NT is just another VERY LIBERAL Dem hack. WV has been controlled by the Dems for 80+ years and nationally we're LAST in every good category and FIRST in every bad category! Thanks very much for nothing Democratic Party Politicians!

    Rocky and Nicky Joe have been embarassing Dem flunkies and nothing but "Yes" votes for BHO.

    NT very quickly will realize she is in way over her head and Shelley will win by AT LEAST 10 points!!!!!

  • Steve666871

    And what degree does Obama have???? Master of deception in big talk! I've known plenty of folks with big degrees that didn't have enough sense to pour pee out of a boot with the instructions tattooed on the heel! Where has Obama's big Harvard degree Socialist/Marxist crowd taken us - on the road to destruction. Warm and friendly is what we don't need. We need someone who knows how to get the job done.

  • C. F. T.

    An uber Liberal like Tennant will get all the noise and pandering from the press, but WV Voters will vote conservative.

  • Bigfish

    Shelley Moore Bush has done absolutely nothing for the working people of wv. She is against social security, Medicare and medicaid and is a tool for the boner. We need someone who cares for all west Virginians not just Wall Street.

  • susanf

    Ugh! I hope she wins the Senate race b/c I don't think she would be a good choice for Governor. Like MoJo, she can do less damage to the state if we send her on up to Washington.

  • sunnycal

    As Secretary of state I heard her say on the radio she's against people showing I D to vote. That's all I need to know about Tennant. She will be just another dem in DC serving other dems, not the people of West Virginia that she should be. Just like JoBama, just another lib.

  • CaptainQ

    Of all the possible Democrats left (that hadn't rejected the idea of running already), Tennant is indeed the best the WV Dems could get to challenge Capito.

    It's going to be an interesting campaign next year.

  • Low Rider

    Let's see...this week the Obama EPA decided to tighten carbon dioxide emissions in 2014 so drastically the coal industry will eventually die. Tennant's political career will die along with it when she runs and get's crushed by Capito. Tennant's ego must be overtaking her common sense if she is listening to advisors that are telling her she can win.

  • Hughesknight

    Natalie Tenant can be personable. Check that out about half way through the campaign. That will go away. She finished very poorly in the democratic primary in a weak field. I think somebody in Washington told the party head find someone to support that has no chance against our friend Shelly.

  • JohnR

    Go Natalie!

  • george

    yep keep puttin the DEMs in office -----You see what a great shape our State is in since the Dems have held office---yep , last in every category or close to the bottom,,,yep lets go roads, no jobs, no infrastructure , no coal industry but Lets Go Mountaineers..............................whew.......

  • Jacque

    Natalie is a candidate for the people of WV. Money doesn't matter when we all already have voted for her and will again.

  • Melissa

    I love General Tackett. I'm with him. Need to find out who he supports.

  • Steven

    Shelley Moore Capito has a zoology degree.

    Enough said.

  • Michael Johnson

    Natalie Tennant has warmth and is hard working. The people of WV know her, the person. I've lived in the 2nd District the entire time Capito has served here and don't know her at all.

    Natalie Tennant is going to win because people vote for those they know and like.

  • Trina K.

    Very good race. Natalie Tennant is someone for the people and Shelley Capito is someone for Shelley Capito.

  • George

    Go !

  • grey4449

    We need a Republican Congress to stop the war on coal and to stop Obama Care. Everyone needs to vote for Capito. Obama needs to be impeached. Only by Republicans winning the Senate and keeping the house can we the American people get rid of King Obama.

  • Len

    Capito is no moderate. you are totally correct.

  • Shadow

    If you remember what the sage, Will Rogers, said: Congress did nothing and that is what we wanted them to do. We have about 1000% more laws than we need.

  • David

    I think they should mud wrestle for it.

  • WV Citizen

    All you DINOs need to look up Capito's voting record. She is speaking one way and voting another. She is against the seniors, veterans, poor, coal mine workers (not owners) and the middle class!
    Do a web search and see for yourself. i personally have challegned her many times to be a leader and not a follower.
    West Virginia deserves better than her. It time to "Say NO to Capito".

  • realitycheck

    ..... are some nice pictures of her with Obama signs. I'm sure those will endear her to the folks in Southern WV.

  • Dave R.

    hopefully she doesn't become ...STUPID....if she wins

  • MTNR

    Natalie is clearly the better candidate. Natalie has helped military vote, busted up election fraud, and oh yeah, just gave back $3 million dollars of taxpayer money that her office saved. Shelley has done NOTHING in Congress. How many bills has Shelley written that have become law? ZERO! She has no ideas on how to move West Virginia forward, and is only in Congress to make herself money and make her husband money. Plus, she voted against Fair Pay for women. How can any woman vote for Shelley and keep a straight face? Vote for Natalie, and kick that do-nothing Capito out of Washington!

  • jm

    finally someone worthy of my vote......... too bad she cant run against joe

  • Jephre

    Capito in the senate, Rockefeller out of the senate, and Tennant out of politics. Sounds like a good election this time.

  • Jt

    Fantastic, where do we contribute!! Tennant Yes!! CapiNO!

  • It would make too much sense

    She can't win. She will not raise enough money to compete. She has ruined her chance for governor.

  • Dale

    Why don't qualified public serveants like General Tackett (for example) run for this US Senate seat?

  • Brian

    God help us all. If you want this state to fall back in time, vote for Tennant. Remember what she said while trying to boost Ken Hechler. How could anyone take her seriously?

  • Dani

    I completely agree. I was REALLY hoping she'd run for Governor... but I guess if she doesn't win the Senate race she can still make a bid for the Governor's office.

  • Fan

    If you have ever listened to Ms Tennant speak, she has absolutely no substance. NONE. What qualifications does she have? She was a mascot for a University ( a bad one at that ) and she was a television news anchor?!? PLUS she is an Obama supporter! WV already has enough Obama lovers in DC with Joe Manchin and Tricky Nick Rahall. We definitely don't need another one. SURELY we aren't dumb enough to elect Ms Tennant to the senate....even though it rymes

  • David Kennedy

    I really wish that Ms. Tennant had better advisors. This decision will spend a lot of money, lose the election for her, and keep her from becoming our first woman Governor. It will also take her out of the 'Winning Column.
    It was a great try 'cuz but the 'powers that be want you out of WV politics and this is your ticket to 'Never land...Have a nice trip.

  • Joe Cool

    Should be a good race.