CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Secretary of State Natalie Tennant is expected to officially launch her campaign for U.S. Senate on Tuesday with several announcements throughout West Virginia.

State Democratic Party Chairman Larry Puccio applauded Tennant’s decision, claiming support has been building for several months.

“Anytime you have that kind of a push and a groundswell, it tells me it is the right thing,” said Puccio. “The overwhelming support has got her understanding that she is right person.”

Many Democrats passed on a U.S. Senate campaign that would pit them against Republican Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito (WV-2) in the 2014 general election. Capito announced her U.S. Senate intentions last year.

She is vying to replace U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, who said he won’t be seeking re-election.

Tennant, 45, is a Marion County native in her second term as West Virginia’s Secretary of State. She was first elected in 2008. Prior to that, Tennant worked in television news at WBOY-TV in Clarksburg and WCHS-TV in Charleston and she is a former Mountaineer mascot for West Virginia University.

On Monday’s MetroNews “Talkline,” Puccio said Tennant looked for her support in the Mountain State, not in Washington, D.C.

“Natalie is a hometown girl and she spent her time in West Virginia talking to people and doing her due diligence and all that,” he said.

“I always believed she was an individual that could do very, very well.”

Several other candidates have filed to run for the U.S. Senate seat.

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, along with David Harless from Charleston.

Others who have filed include Constitution Party candidate Phil Hudok from Huttonsville, Republicans Scott “Cody” Regan from Salt Rock and 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 is Tuesday, May 13.

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  • Docbegone

    Go Shelley. I am sending a contribution to help her defeat Tennant. What has Natalie done while in office? Do you remember Keith Russel Judd?

  • eyeambobb

    It is wonderful we will get the chance to vote for a true West Virginian. Natalie Tennant is a great lady, smart, hard working and highly ethical. She will be a fantastic senator, her hard work will benefit West Virginia. I am a relative of Shelly Capito and I will vote for Natalie.

    • sunnycal

      I'm a relative of Woodrow Wilson and I won't vote for Natalie, or JoBama, Obama, Hillary, Biden,..................................................................anyway lets start voting for only those who are really interested in doing the right thing for a change not because they are a democrat , HAVE TO BREAK THIS STUPID CYCLE IF WE EVER WANT TO MOVE FORWARD !

  • Bobby

    Follow the money. Shelly took $$$$ from the likes of Blankenship, Patriot, an Peabody. That tells me all I need to know!

    • realitycheck

      and democrats are bankrolled in this state by the plaintiffs' bar - whose only goal is to make their members rich by suing the last remaining employers in the state.

  • D.P.

    Jt - Another brilliant ovservation by you. But, what can we expect from someone like you?You're the epitomy of a LOW INFORMATION VOTER who's never voted anything other than straight ticket Dem!!! It's sure going to be interesting to see if you post again after your gal, NT, loses BIG in 2014!!!

  • Dale

    And then when she wins the US Senate seat, her husband Eric can get elected to the WV SOS's office. After a term there, he can take Senator Manchin's US Senate seat and WV could make history by having the first husband/wife team in the US Senate!! Reality TV!!

  • Jt

    Wow! Sounds like a lot of worried right wingers out there, Maybe your stooge McKinley should ride in to the rescue! CapiNO!

  • D.P.

    Independent View - very well stated! Also, I could be wrong, but I never saw pre-election where NT had informed WV voters that a Texas prisoner was on the ballot opposing Obama (and he got 40% of the vote). This is one of her MAIN responsibilities as SOS to keep voters enlightened during the election period. Although somewhat funny, another national disgrace/blackeye for WV, thanks to NT's obvious incompetentce!

    Fortunately, voters are finally realizing where 95% of WV Democratic politicans have taken this state (South) during the past 80+ years. NT is among the 95% who is NOTHING but a Dem flunkie! Shelley will win in a landslide!!!!!

  • NotRepublican

    I'm really pumped that Natalie is going to run! She has a huge following with the younger generation of West Virginians. She's down to earth and realistic and not stoic like that troll Capito.

    Who is the real West Virginian here?

    Capito is the daughter of another corrupt WV politician. She went to school at Duke and the University of VIRGINIA... and made sure her investments and companies benefited very well from her position.

    Tennant received both of her degrees from West Virginia University and as fought to bring fair and dignity to the election process in WV... Something I'm sure the Moore-Capito family cringes at.

    Way to go Natalie Tennant! We are behind you 100%

    • realitycheck

      So, going to really good schools is a negative for Capito? I mean, we can have all the pride in the world for WVU and our other state schools, but it's hardly a negative to say that Capito went to two of the best schools in the country. She was born/raised in WV, went to really great schools, then came back to raise her family. and we're going to say that her choice of great schools is a negative?? that's the kind of mentality that keeps holding this state down.

  • sunnycal

    NO NATA - LIE ! just another dem that will sell WV down the road. come on people we keep doing the same old dumb thing, election after election and some how expect different results. really ?

  • Independent View

    Let's see if I can get my head around Ms. Tennant's "qualifications." The Mountaineer at WVU; a news reader at two TV Stations; a secretary of state that allowed Judy Hale, President of the teacher's union to hold a press conference in the secretary of state AKA the People's Office promoting pay raises and increased benefits for the teachers; missed an important election deadline which cost WV Taxpayers millions--and, elections are her primary responsibility and holding interviews and press conferences supporting the UMW.
    So, now that her "qualifications" have benn iterated--(it doesn't take long to do so) some of you posters are having her baby! Enough of the Tennant fiasco, Shelly Moore has more brains, drive and ability in her little finger than Tennant will ever have in her whole body! Enough of the union stooges and Democrat Political Machine in WV! 80+ years of one party rule is enough--whether Democrat or Republican!
    If she cannot handle or want to tend the SOS duties, why would one begin to believe that she could be a senator? Pathetic Lemmings!

  • Low Rider

    Just what we need another Democrat to line up with the Obama administration in its pursuit to destroy the coal and power industry in WV. Capito has publicly stated her position on this topic...let's see where NT stands. My guess is she will take the typical liberal line and support the Obama EPA.

    • Wowbagger

      Ms. Tennant as a Democrat, if elected, will vote for Harry Reid for Senate Majority Leader. This will be her most damaging vote against West Virginia's interests!

      Harry Reid is a true Progressive who will follow Obama's every whim!

      Wake up people. The Democratic Party has abandoned West Virginia!

  • Jon F.

    I cannot understand why any West Virginian would vote for a democrat for any reason. I left WV 28 years ago to seek a career. I love WV and I come home every year. I was in McDowell county in August for a week. Democrats brag about giving out the first food stamps there in the 1960's. And look at it now...worse than ever. West Virginia loses its most precious resource year after year, the sons and daughters that cannot find a job there. Wake up my dear West Virginians...democrats do not equal jobs for your sons and daughters.

    • realitycheck

      "But, gosh golly, Natalie will stand up to Harry Reid and Obama. She'll look out for the working man... after all, she is one of us - she was the Mountaineer mascot and she was on TV." Scary, but this is how many voters feel. This is the kind of traditional democrat that she's going to try and snooker (she's got the small percentage of WV voters who are liberal ("progressive") in the bag). Never mind that she campaigned for Obama. Never mind that Obama and Reid could care less about this state. Just go ahead and continue to demonize big business, coal operators (who i would agree haven't done the best job of endearing themselves to the people of this state), and the rich. It's worked for decades in this state, and yet so many can't comprehend why businesses won't come here.

    • WV Proud

      Shelley's been a part of WV politics for 17 years. Her leadership, obviously hasn't helped either.

      Capito has been in Washington long enough. She's made herself millions from it, she needs to be retired.

  • Jim G.

    I have not liked her since she was the first female "Mountaineer". Obama rubber stamp at best. She runs and loses and she still has her job. If she really wants to make a statement then resign from the Secretary of State's office so you don't have your cushy job to fall back on. Capito is giving up her safe congressional seat to run. Tennant will lose 55% to 45% minimum.

  • FungoJoe

    Tennant is a BIG Obama supporter. Lets see how far that gets her in WV.

  • WVU86

    Bad timing on Natalie's part. Mid-term elections of a lame duck president who is taking some major PR lumps right now (anti-coal initiatives; Syria; fragile economy) means Dems are going to have to work twice as hard in the next election just to have a shot at winning and Shelly Moore already has a big head start. Natalie is a good candidate but she can't overcome the anti-Obama sentiment that hangs over the Dems in this state.