CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Decked out in red and filled with enthusiasm, Secretary of State Natalie Tennant told a crowd of supporters at the state Culture Center on Tuesday she’ll campaign for the Democrat nomination for the U.S. Senate.

Tennant paid tribute to her predecessors, claiming the state could benefit from expanding on federal installations from late Sen. Robert C. Byrd’s efforts. She also lauded the Toyota manufacturing plant and other automotive facilities courted to the state by Sen. Jay Rockefeller.

Beginning a five-city tour to kick off her candidacy, Tennant pledged to make college more affordable, fix the parts of Obamacare that are broken, and to stand up to anybody in Washington—Democrat or Republican—who stands in the way of West Virginia’s energy industries.

“The same way I stood up when people were criticizing what took place in a particular county during an election,” Tennant said. “People were saying ‘Natalie wont’ do anything.’ What was really happening behind the scenes was I was investigating and even went against my own party. I’ve shown I do what’s right for West Virginia and put West Virginia first.”

Tennant quickly moved to criticize her likely opponent in the 2014 general election, calling Republican U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito part of the problem in a broken Congress for 13 years.

“Being an obstructionist when we need to get to work.” Tennant said. “We’re in the middle of sequester cuts right now, she’s part of that.  She’s part of a Congress that is not working well together.”

The race promises to be one watched nationally and out-of-state money is expected to free flow into West Virginia if it becomes Capito v. Tennant. Tennant fully expects the onslaught and said she and her family are prepared for whatever would come their way in the form of criticism.

“I have shown that I have stayed true to who I am,” she said. “I am centered. I am a real West Virginian and knows from where she comes when I talk about my values and my compass.”

Flanked by her husband Erik and daughter Delaney, Tennant recalled her days growing up on a Marion County farm. She said it was there she first realized the opportunity to be anything she wanted. She admitted it took soul-searching to seek the U.S. Senate seat.

“It was not a quick, fast, easy decision,” she said. “I looked inward and said to myself, ‘Can I do this? What can I bring to this? Can my family go through a campaign like this? What is the support?’ All of those questions were answered.”

 

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Comments

  • celador2

    Coal needs an advocate not just a defender. Manchin is a straw man who gets no where in party of Waxman, Pelosi, Reid and Obama and Lisa Jackson and Gina McCarthy EPA heads.
    Sen. Manchin might feel some heat and switch parties by 2018 if Capito wins 2014. Even Tennant might switch. If she wants a career with Democrats DC may be the place not WV at this time.

  • Hillbilly

    On one hand, Shelley Capito has been a decent representative for WV..
    On the other hand, Shelley Capito may be part of the congressionsl gridlock that happens with every vote on every issue.
    Perhaps its time to vote out every incumbent and vote in some new faces with new ideas. Get rid of the Harry Reid / Nancy Pelosi / iron hand syndrome.

    • realitycheck

      except voting for Natalie Tennant will have no effect on Harry Reid. He'll still be there. He'll still be the majority leader (especially if people keep sending democrats to the Senate), and Natalie will no doubt vote for him to keep his leadership role. so, while you might want to have a spring cleaning in Washington, voting for Tenant is a vote for Reid (and a vote for Obama). that's reality. you may not like it, but it is.

  • BAC

    Most WV secretaries of state have risen to their highest level of incompetency. Natalie is no exception.

  • blugldmn

    Mary R.

    Do you know how long you, your children and grandchildren will be paying for the money Byrd spent on those things?

    • Larry

      Good point, Byrd did bring in a lot of money, unfortunately a lot of it was spent on pet projects that were a complete waste of money.

      • al

        By pet projects, Larry means any road that was built at any location except for in front of his house. If his house had been done, it wouldn't be a pet project then.

      • Hillbilly

        One question...
        If Byrd had not gotten all that money into WV, what would we have now?

        • realitycheck

          We would have been forced to reform our economy and not constantly suck at the government's teet. i don't blame Byrd for doing what he did, but plently of other states have taken far less per capita and done far better.

  • joey

    leaving the farm to become a politician says it all. (easy money) digging the spurs into capito as she announces her candidacy. (liberal democrat) what more could we ask for.

  • College Ave

    Ms. Tennant's campaign will appeal to the very same voters who elected and reelected Barack Obama, largely because her messages will be end up being the same as his:

    1) Rich people are the direct decendants of the devil.
    2) All rich people became rich through evil, nefarious acts (see message 1).
    3) Every business, at its core, is an evil organism run by evil people (see messages 1 and 2) and must be taxed and controlled to the point of exhaustion.

    Punishing the wealthy and "big business" plays well with some folks. Unfortunately, history has proved time and again that a prosperity plan based on punishment, whether it be rich people or industries (coal), never gets to the part where it produces prosperity for anyone. For recent examples, see: Obama, Barack; Reid, Harry; Pelosi, Nancy).

    From college mascot to tv newsreader to Secretary of State, Ms. Tennant has made a career of playing to people's emotions. Like with the aforementioned leaders, you can be sure she doesn't have the first idea of what's actually required to create prosperity and how she can help.

  • Independent View

    If I was on the political fence regarding Tennant or Capito, Ms. Tennant praising Byrd and Rockefeller made me jump off to the Capito side! If ever there was blight on the U.S. Senate and an embarrassment to WV, it is those two Yahoos!
    "I'm West Virginia's billion dollar industry!" and "call me Big Daddy! Both of these Byrd infamous quotes are sickening and bred a culture of entitlement in WV that has prevailed for decades and continues. As for Rocky, he's a Lemming and votes in lockstep with Shumer, Boxer, Feinstein, Reid and the Chosen One. He too is an embarrassment to WV and an insult to any state resident with an average intelligence.
    Tennant wants to mirror these records? She's all hat and no cattle. Without the Democratic Political Machine and the unions she wouldn't even be an afterthought.
    Do the job that you hoodwinked the Yellow-Dog Democrats into electing you to do, but you are a failure at it too!

  • Mary R

    Those of you who criticize Sen. Byrd are obviously idiots! Do you know ho is responsible for funding most of the roads you drive on everyday? Who helped get new funding for schools, airports, water and sewer?! Sure, elect a bunch of republic and see where we are 20 years from now! Ak yourself this... What has Shelly done for WV? Give specifics. She hasn't saved coal! More layoffs announced this week.

    • Matt

      If I'm not mistaken, that was his job.....to get WV money. Now everything is named after a guy who came to work and did his job.

      • WV Citizen

        You two are missing the point! Capito has ridden on Sen. Byrd's coat tails since she enter congress. Again, answer the question or Shut up

        • Matt

          Technically, everyone has ridden the coat tails of RCB, including JDR, NJR and the rest of Congress...... The man was one of the longest serving Sen's in the US.

          What has Capito done for WV? She votes "yes" or "no" like everyone else. What do you want? Back door politics, with sweetheart deals that appeases WV only.

          What has Capito done for WV shouldn't be the question....What has the state legislature done for WV should be your question. They are the reason we are 15 years behind every other state.

          Teacher, coal miner, or hospital work....that's good enough to keep the state going. Businesses do not want to come here. That's why Walmart is still the largest private employer thanks to a horrible state legislature that has no accountability.

          Your "question" has no point.

          What did BHO do for his state besides vote "present". .........

    • Larry

      Ask yourself why WV is last in everything, yet the liberal dems, who are so wonderful, and do so much, have been in power in this state for 80 years. Also, learn how to spell before calling other people idiots.

      • al

        Larry, Byrd was no liberal, by todays definition of liberal anyway. Manchin is certainly no liberal by any definition at any time. You republicans want to label any democrat as a liberal. You should really get your facts before you speak.

  • NotRepublican

    GO NATALIE!!!

    Can't wait to get out and support her campaign. Can't let that witch Capito into the Senate.

    Besides the fact she is corrupt, she looks like a very untalented drag queen :)

    • Guardian

      Is that all you got? Name calling and denigrating someone's looks? Sheesh. Real thoughtful reasons for not voting for someone.

      • wvtd

        typical democrat response. can not stand on the truth so out comes the labels.

  • Larry

    I heard the only reason she's running is because her last name almost rhymes with senate.

  • Abanezer

    No way she gets my vote. Not another obama zombie.

  • Jim G.

    Vote for Tennant = Vote for Obama
    She'll just another lap dog for the President. She wants to continue the Byrd legacy of government largesse? Government is the problem not the solution. During the 50+ years Byrd was senator WV dropped in every category of economic strength. We were ahead of North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, etc. until old Bobby Byrd became senator. Now we fight with Mississippi for the bottom of the list. Yeah that's quite a legacy. Please don't make the mistake of electing this lightweight. If she wants to prove something then she should resign her Secretary of State office. She still has two cushy years left in office if she loses. Shelly Moore Capito is giving up her congressional seat and announced her candidacy before JDR announced he would not run for reelection.

    • ProudlyConservative

      Name one positive policy initiative Capito can claim in her 14 years as a Washington insider. She's been so indistinguishable that, even as top Republicans actively sought women to elevate into leadership positions, she was passed over. Lightweight?

      • Jim G.

        Name one policy initiative Nick Joe Rahall has can claim in 30+ years as a "Washington Insider" when his party held the majority for the bulk of his years. Well he did get the west Huntington bridge named after himself. If you think Shelly Moore Capito is a lightweight then Tennant must be nonexistent to you.

        • al

          Can't help but notice that you didn't answer the question. All you did was ask another question. WHAT HAS SHELLY EVER DONE TO THE BENEFIT OF WV? Answer the question! You can't because you are a republican hack.

          • Jim G.

            Nick Joe Rahall is a Democrat hack and has been since he was elected in 1976. Twenty-four years longer than Capito! Your point being that it acceptable to be a Democrat hack but not a Republican one.

  • Don

    a vote for Tennant is a vote for obama vote CAPITO

  • Brad

    Yeah! At a time Democrats in Washington are destroying West Virginia's main economic engine (coal), we're to send another liberal Democrat to the Senate to do us more damage?? The insanity of voters never ceases to amaze!

    • al

      So, Ms. Capito has been doing what exactly? I do believe that it has been our WV democrats in Washington who have been fighting against Obama on coal.

  • Patchy

    The same people cheering on Natalie Tennant must be the ones who paid good money for a Pet Rock.

    Tennant's 'accomplishments' are akin to those of her party comrade Obama's: a laundry list of empty nothingness disguised as leadership, scholarship, etc. If Tennant has any leadership skills, original thoughts or - gasp - ideas on how to actually improve government she has done an excellent job of concealing it all to date behind boilerplate speeches that are an embarrassment to herself and any audience gullible enough to believe them. She knows as much about foreign policy, the military, and economics as she does about fish species in the Amazon basin.

    It doesn't take 'soul-searching' to lack otherwise marketable skills and instead become the political machine's next trial balloon, but if she wins office every West Virginian and, indeed, every American will be faced with the same sort of political hangover they've been suffering with since 2009.