CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The results are in. Kanawha County’s Republican Executive Committee held a forum and straw poll for GOP candidates running in the second Congressional District race over the weekend during the Lincoln Day Dinner.
Five candidates were on hand Saturday. Kanawha County Republican Executive Committee Chair Fred Joseph ran down the results of the poll.
“First was Steve Harrison, then Ron Walters Jr., then Charlotte Lane, Alex Mooney and Jim Moss.”
Harrison is a former Kanawha County state senator.
Joseph said each candidate had equal time to win over those casting their ballot. They had five minutes to present themselves and then the audience had five minutes to ask questions.
“They were all more than qualified and spoke eloquently,” according to Joseph. “It’s going to be a difficult choice for us in the primary.”
The GOP will not endorse one Republican candidate over another until after the primary election. But Joseph said the straw poll gives party leaders a sneak peak into what’s ahead.
“This is the first time [a straw poll] has been done and I think it’s an exceptionally nice way to get to know the candidates,” Joseph said. “So many of us know them by name and face but we don’t get to hear them speak very often.”
It’s also a chance for the candidates to stand apart.
“This is an opportunity to have them compete against each other in front of the folks that are really going to help them get elected. These are the workers and the volunteers that typically do all the work.”
Harrison won the straw poll by 6-percent.
Current Second District Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito is running for the U.S. Senate in 2014, leaving the office vacant. Several Democrats have announced their intentions including former West Virginia Democrat Party Chairman Nick Casey and Kanawha County Del. Mesha Poore.
Joseph believes the GOP will prevail in holding on to that seat.
“I think we have a winner in the group!”
The primary election is set for May 13, 2014. The filing period begins in Jan.