CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The two candidates who are considered the frontrunners in this year’s U.S. Senate race are now officially running.
Secretary of State Natalie Tennant filed to run for the Democratic nomination on Friday morning, a day after Second District Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito filed to run for the Republican nomination.
“I filed to run for the U.S. Senate because we have to put West Virginia first,” Tennant told MetroNews on Friday. She referenced the Jan. 9 chemical leak and ensuing water emergency that left 300,000 people in parts of nine counties without usable tap water for days.
“If these last two weeks have shown anything, it’s that the people of West Virginia deserve to be put first over profit, the people of West Virginia should be put first over any party or any politics,” she said.
Tennant, who is in her second term as Secretary of State after first being elected in 2008, launched her U.S. Senate campaign last fall with a five-city tour of West Virginia. She is now in the process of visiting all 55 West Virginia counties.
Capito first announced her plans to run for U.S. Senate in November 2012, before current U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) decided not to seek reelection.
Capito is currently in her seventh term in the U.S. House of Representatives where she is a member of the House Financial Services Committee and House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
“I’m going to keep it as positive as I always have,” said Capito of how she plans to run for U.S. Senate. She said the focus, in the months ahead, should stay on the issues. “I’m on record on all kinds of topics and I’m willing to defend those votes and then talk about what my future’s going to be.”
As of Friday morning, the others candidates who had filed to run for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate were Larry Eugene Butcher of Washington, W.Va. and Matthew Dodrill of Parkersburg.
David Wamsley from Williamstown has filed to run for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate.
The candidate filing deadline comes on Saturday. Primary Election Day in West Virginia will be Tuesday, May 13.