CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Republican Party Chairman Conrad Lucas described the last few days of the Republican primary in the race for 2nd District Congress as “spirited” when he spoke to MetroNews Friday.
There are seven candidates seeking the GOP nomination. The seat is open because Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito is running for U.S. Senate.
The race has heated up on the abortion issue with candidate Alex Mooney claiming candidate Charlotte Lane is not pro-life. Lane has answered the accusations saying she is now pro-life after her religious conversion and birth of a grandchild.
GOP Chairman Lucas said all seven candidates are working hard and he attributes that to Republicans having held the 2nd District seat since 2000 when Rep. Capito defeated Charleston attorney Jim Humphreys.
“For so long we’ve seen where Democratic primaries were the de facto general election. Now, particularly on the federal level, we’re seeing with Republican primaries are the de facto general election.”
Lucas said the dynamics are so much different than they used to be.
“Republican primary voters in the past haven’t had seven candidates to choose from in all races combined and in this one they have seven candidates simply in one federal race,” he said.
The chairman said he doesn’t anticipate the party having any problem coming together to get behind the nominee following the primary.
“It’s been very spirited and as time gets closer to the actual election day itself folks are campaigning hard,” Lucas said. “But after it’s over I know the old expression is ‘It will be time for us to heal up,’”
The seven GOP candidates are the aforementioned Lane and Mooney, Jim Moss, Ken Reed, Steve Harrison, Robert Fluharty, and Ron Walters, Jr.
The winner Tuesday will face the Democrat nominee in the fall. Candidates in that primary include former West Virginia Democratic Party Chairman Nick Casey and Kanawha County Del. Meshea Poore.