–The exact voter turnout total won’t be official for another day or two, but it is almost definite that this year’s primary turnout numbers will be historically low. No West Virginia statewide election in the past 20 years has drawn less than 24 percent of the registered voters, but this year’s turnout may be as low as 17 percent. From 1974-2002, only one Primary Election in a non-presidential year drew fewer than 32 percent (1986 with 26 percent). The last two off-year Primaries have started a descending trend, as the voter turnout was 26 percent in 2006 and 24 percent in 2010. And that number continued to drop this year, as it is seemingly going to be below 20 percent

–Why did former Maryland state senator Alex Mooney win the Republican nomination in West Virginia’s Second Congressional District? The answer is widespread support. Mooney was the leading vote getter in 15 of the district’s 17 counties. The only two counties Mooney didn’t win were Kanawha, which tilted by a slim number to Charleston lawyer Charlotte Lane, and Morgan, which favored Berkeley Springs resident Ken Reed. All the other 15 went for Mooney, and that broad support allowed him to easily win a race many viewed as very close prior to the votes being cast.

–The same story was told in the Democratic Primary for the Second Congressional District, as Nick Casey was the leading vote getter in each of the 17 counties, thus defeating Meshea Poore, 60 percent to 40 percent.

–Democrat Natalie Tennant and Republican Shelley Moore Capito each easily won their primaries in their bids to become a U.S. Senator representing West Virginia. How easy? Despite the fact that each had two challengers in their respective primary races, both dominated the field, as Tennant earned 78 percent of the Democratic vote and Capito finished with 87 percent of the Republican vote. Both were the leading vote getters in every one of the 55 counties.

–Nick Joe Rahall again won the Democratic nomination for West Virginia’s Third Congressional District. Rahall won the nomination with 66 percent of the vote to outdistance his challenger, Richard Ojeda. Rahall has often run unopposed in recent Primaries–he didn’t have an opponent in the Democratic Primary in 2012, 2008 and 2004. But in the most recent Primary challenge he faced, his victory was nearly the same as this year, as he defeated Bruce Barilla 67.5 percent to 32.5 percent in 2010.

–At least five current members of the Legislature failed to win renomination Tuesday.  Democrat Senator Sam Cann lost to Michael Romano in the 12th.  On the House side, Democrat Tim Kinsey in the 19th, Mark Hunt in the 36th, Ron Fragale in the 48th and Republican Larry Kump in the 59th all finished out of the running.  At least one more incumbent could also fall.  Our unofficial results in the 24th show Democrat Rupie Phillips tied with Ted Tomblin for the second and final position.

–From the oldest to the youngest.  Former state Senator and House of Delegates member Frank Deem from Wood County won the Republican nomination in Wood County’s 10th district.  Deem, 86, was elected to the Legislature the first time in 1954.  Meanwhile, 17-year-old Saira Blair won the Republican Party’s nomination in the 59th district.

(Editor’s note: Greg Hunter contributed to this commentary. HK)


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  • Joyce

    Hey, did anyone tell you the Democrat party has been taken over by the communist party and the only thing they stand for is control of the people's lives.?. ( keep them Dumb and Dependent) The Democrats do not know how to produce a profitable state.. Just look at West Virginia, we have been ran by Democrats for 60 years and we are last in every category, and the poorest of all states...You would think the people would give the other side a chance , maybe for our children, that they might be able to find some work here and live among us.. We are looked down on by all other states. .Doesn't that make you feel like low life... If West Virginia goes Democrats again, the people will get what they deserve... they say " You just can't fix stupid..". BUT I PRAY THAT WE CAN...(.AS SOON AS THE PEOPLE REALIZE THAT DEMOCRATS OF OUR PARENTS DOES NOT EXIST ANYMORE, THE BETTER OF WE WILL BE..). JUST LOOK AT TENNANT , SHE WAS A DEMOCRAT IN THIS STATE AND BACKED OBAMA ALL THE WAY... IT DOESN'T MATTER IF THEY ARE WRONG, THEY ALL STICK TOGETHER LIKE GLUE... I AM GOING TO PRAY FOR US....GOD BLESS. ........... PS,.. YOU PEOPLE OF WV BETTER PAY ATTENTION TO THE SCHOOLS AND COMMON CORE....(RAN BY DEMOCRATS).IT IS THE FINISHING TOUCH FOR CONTROL OF YOUR CHILDRENS MINDS.... (THAT IS WHAT HITLER DID)

  • Mteer

    I can't believe Rahall even won the Primary. Is that district just goofy? Keep electing him so he can side with what ever Obama wants. Another one is the out of stater Mooney. There was a lot of competition but come on the guy from MD wins. I just can't figure that one out. And as far as the safety levy, they will just waste the money and we will get stuck with higher property taxes for nothing.

  • Robert

    A registered Democrat since my first election in 1976, I don't vote party, instead choosing the person. Funny, when looking at me Democrat ballot on Tuesday with the exceptions of one candidate all I saw were names I would be voting against in the general election come November.

  • Charleston

    Does anyone have information pertaining to the passing of the Kanawha Co. Safety Levy? Did it pass?

    • Shauna Johnson

      Yes. The public safety levy in Kanawha County passed with support from 78 percent of voters. It needed at least 60 percent.

      • Charleston

        Thanks for the swift response, Shauna J.! I was surprised to be unable to find this info on the web or in today's newspaper.

  • crystal dawn

    A lot of out of state republican and libertarian candidates are being influxed into our state, which is truly going to turn us Red for a long time. Mooney, for example. So we have kids leaving our state in droves to find jobs, while Republicans that hardly ever live here are taking over the legislator. Big money is spent on these candidates from the likes of the Koch braws .. because they can no longer win national elections... they must infiltrate state, local, and judicial positions.. and honestly, the folks in WV don't educate themselves.

    Capito is probably a shoe-in. The days of supporting our unions and Robert C. Byrd are long gone.

    Guys like Mooney run on the tea party ticket but, like the libertarians, are just Republicans. Lots of folks are fooled by this, thinking they are getting an "out side of the box" candidate, or someone that isn't "part of Washington" when they are funded by the same outfits and are simply ensuring right wing policy.

    • WhgFeeling

      or....we can maintain the status quo. Sure seems to be doing wonders in this state.

  • mntnman

    If only 17% of the registered voters in West Virginia voted, and only 66% of West Virginians are registered to vote, that means West Virginia is electing its officials with 26% of its population. (All numbers are rounded and based on the most recent info I can find.) So, one in four West Virginia citizens is deciding who runs our state.

    Sad. We want good government (I think). Then why don't we get more active in the process? I suppose there are quite a few reasons, but laziness is the one I vote for as the primary reason. Just too lazy to study, understand and then go vote. : (

    • Hop'sHip

      Well I guess I am one of the lazy people. I don't think I am too lazy to actually vote, since I drove past my polling place a couple of times yesterday, and it would have taken fifteen minutes to cast my ballot. But I guess I was too lazy to study, or more to the point, find something that would have made me a better informed voter. I was thinking that the Voice of West Virginia could have provided a service to lazy people like me by posting a topic here and then invite candidates to identify themselves and then to address the topic in any way that they choose. I would be agreeable to reading their dialogue and then would feel more comfortable casting my vote. There may already be such a forum out there on Twitter or something. If so, I would appreciate a lead.

      • Hop'sHip

        Or maybe establish candidate chat rooms where a candidate would have 30 minutes or so to take questions from Hoppy nation and respond. If the sports writers covering the Steelers can do this why can't political candidates?

  • Mason County Contrarian

    I guess God, having urged "small pharmacy owner/job creator" Ken Reed to run, will now tell him to raise prescription prices to seniors and The Middle Class to cover his family's $200,000+ investment in himself.

    Shop wisely, my friends.

    • Aaron

      God didn't tell Ken Reed to run, he told Moss to run. Wrong Republican.

      • Mason County Contrarian

        My mistake, but it was only natural. You can't find any Republican responding to a reporter question without reference to The Almighty.

  • Buck

    Gee Johnboy, that "opportunistic carpetbagger" Mooney sure reminds me of another carpetbagger from New York that served as governor and ended up in the U.S. Senate.

    • kensgirl

      Ding! Ding! Ding! We HAVE a winner!!!

  • kensgirl

    In the precinct where I work the polls, we were there all day for a total of 79 voters. Less than 10% turnout with walk-ins only, and just about 10% when you add in the early voters. Just PATHETIC.

  • proudlyconservative

    It is interesting to note - and I'm not necessarily surprised this fact was ignored - that Natalie Tennant pulled a significantly higher number of votes than Shelley Capito, despite there being two other Democrats on the ballot.

    • jawn

      Almost 30,000 Democrats enthusiastically voted against Natalie, while hardly more than 10,000 Republicans reluctantly voted against Shelley.

    • WhgFeeling

      It is a primary. The numbers are virtually meaninless in this race. Everyone already new Capito would be the nominee. the only numbers that matter are in November.

    • The bookman

      Democrat vs Republican registration is the answer to your question. There are 54,000 more Democrats in the district than their Republican counterparts.

      • proudlyconservative

        Registration advantage doesn't matter if the voter doesn't go to the polls. Numbers would seem to indicate also that NPA voters did not break sufficiently for Capito to bridge the enthusiasm gap.

        • jawn

          " Numbers would seem to indicate also that NPA voters did not break sufficiently for Capito..." What??
          NPA voters don't vote in the primary.

        • The bookman

          That's an opinion, but quite a stretch in my book.

  • CaptainQ

    More election news ala-carte! How wonderful!

    –Hoppy, I believe that yesterday I predicted a 17 percent voter turnout so I’m sticking with that figure. No matter how you slice it, it would seem that the statistics prove that the level of voter apathy has never been higher. It’s a growing problem with no real solution.

    –I have to admit that Alex Mooney’s win yesterday was a bit of a surprise to me. The bigger question has to be this: Was Mooney so damaged by the Primary campaign that he won’t be able to defeat Nick Casey in November? It will be interesting to see if the ‘Shadow of Obama’ will be enough to give Mooney the win over his Democratic challenger.

    –Nick Casey’s win was no shocker. Sheer name recognizition alone was enough for him to defeat Poore, though the fact that his opponent got 40 percent of the vote could be a sign that Casey may not have the complete support of the Democratic Party faithful.

    –It was never a contest for either Democrat Natalie Tennant and Republican Shelley Moore Capito in their respective primaries yesterday. We now have the November matchup everyone was expecting. Tennant better get her track shoes on quickly so she can run away from Obama as fast her feet will carry her. Otherwise, Shelley could win this race in a landslide.

    –Nick Joe Rahall’s bid to claim the ‘Cloak of Political Invincibility’ from the late Robert C. Byrd is now one step closer to reality. After his recent voting record and perceived support for President Obama’s policies (in particular on coal), if Nicky Joe can win his U.S. House seat once more this November, with the Shadow of Obama covering him, he will truly achieve ‘Bob Byrd’ status. He’ll probably have his seat for life and will be able to say or do ANYTHING and still get reelected time after time after time. If Rahall can win THIS challenge, he may never have another serious GOP contender again.

    –Anytime a state legislative incumbant loses in their primary, it is a surprise. Usually the primary serve as a ‘rubber stamp’ but apparently not this time for Sam Cann, Tim Kinsey, Mark Hunt, Ron Fragale, Larry Kump and perhaps Rupie Phillips. Taking your primary challengers for granted is never a good idea, not even in West Virginia.

    –I was delighted to learn that Frank Deem and Saira Blair won their respective primaries! Good luck to both in November!

  • johnboy

    It's a sad day when some opportunistic carpetbagger so easily wins our Republican primary. He slung so much mud, raised all of his money out-of-state, and the other candidates didn't know what hit them. Head-to-head versus Casey though will be much tougher for Mooney

  • Ron - from Morgantown

    So Saira Blair is only 17 ? Suggestion , get her on your show tomorrow before the national press gets to her . Because the national press will be all over her as soon as they find out . You should grab the exclusive . As far as Deem , at 86 , well that's probably the average age in Wood County . Back to Blair , I doubt she is a native , her family is probably from DC . Just a guess . She is 17 and a Rep and not a Dem ? I wonder why and what prompted her to get into politics at such an early age .How did she get on the ballot at age 17 , she couldn't even vote for herself because she isn't 18 . Very interesting .

    • ViennaGuy

      - As far as Deem , at 86 , well that's probably the average age in Wood County .-

      Uh, no, it's not ...

    • kensgirl

      A 17 year old is able to vote in the primaries as long as they will 18 before the general election. I don't know if that is the case with Sairah, but thought I'd share that little factoid.

    • CaptainQ

      Ron, people have been bringing up Saira's age for months, but the law state if a person turns 18 year old before the day of the Novemeber General Election, they are eligible to vote and/or run for state office. Obviously, Miss Blair qualified or else either the media or her primary opposition would have brought this up before.

      • Ron - from Morgantown

        Dump Kump

    • Just the facts

      Low voter turnout enabled Blair to win. What the hell does a 17 year old bring to the table. Absolutely nothing. She will simply be an extension of her dad's agenda and the aggressive party heads. What a tragedy. Larry Kump did a great job. Sorry to see him go. Neither her dad or her (obviously) have any formal education other than a former Apple orchard operation that was not competitive to say the least and a water softener business. Berkeley County is doomed again.

      • WhgFeeling

        Really she could bring a lot of vigor and new life to the state. It surely would not be the first person at age 17 to make a difference. I bet you would be singing to a different tune had she been a Demoncrap.

      • Jason412

        I'm pretty surprised Saira Blair was able to win the nomination. If she wins in November, it will be interesting to see if she stands on her own, or ends up as an extension of her father. I would say it ends up being the latter, but hope she stands on her own.

        Her youth isn't necessarily a bad thing. Maybe she'll actually listen to her constituents and make their voices heard in Charleston.

        • The truth

          Listening to your constituents has never been the priority. It's all ran by the party and what deals are cut after hours. You support my bill and I will support yours. Again, when we elect 17 year olds to represent us we are absolutely stupid.

          • The Truth

            How did you get my name? Anyway I agree with you.What kind of informed decisions will a 17 year old in the legislature make when confronted with the complex financial, technical, and legal issues? It will be who influences her the most, don't care how smart or how much vigor. Her ability to influence would be non-existent.

    • epres

      Saira is a native. Her dad Craig is in the state senate and once held that seat. The family is one of the old apple farming families in Berkeley County. She worked on all of her dad's campaigns.