CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Those with the Republican Legislative Campaign Committee and the Republican State Leadership Committee are including legislative races for West Virginia’s Senate and House of Delegates in their top tier nationally ahead of the November General Election.
Matt Walter, president of the Republican State Leadership Committee, said that means they see the potential for control of both the West Virginia Senate and West Virginia House to flip to Republicans — possibly as soon as this year.
Currently, Democrats outnumber Republicans 53-47 in the state House and 24-10 in the state Senate.
“We want to come in and make sure that we are helping echo that message that we’re hearing coast to coast, that Republican policies make more sense for folks in states and will move their states in the right direction,” Walter said.
He admitted a leadership change in the West Virginia House is more likely in November than a change in the Senate.
However, “A lot of states are looking around at their Republican neighbors and Republican counterparts and seeing things move in the right direction,” Walter argued. “If that momentum continues to build and (President Barack) Obama remains in the mid-20s in approval ratings, as he has been in West Virginia, that momentum gets big enough that the Senate does become in play this year.”
Across the country, Walter said Republicans have control of 60 of the 99 total state legislative chambers. On Wednesday’s MetroNews “Talkline,” Walter said West Virginia could help add to those numbers.
“The bulk of our resources go to making sure that, if we’ve got an opportunity to change the direction of a state by flipping a chamber or another statewide race, or to maintain folks that are heading in the right direction, that’s where the focus and the bulk of the resources will go,” he said.
At this point, Walter said the RLCC has not finalized spending plans for legislative races heading into the fall.
Those decisions could be made, later this week, at the Republican Legislative Campaign Committee’s National Meeting in Colorado Springs, Co. More than 90 Republican leaders from all 50 states and Puerto Rico will be part of that event.
The Republican Legislative Campaign Committee was formed in 2003 with the sole purpose of electing more Republicans to state legislatures. The Republican State Leadership Committee is the largest caucus of Republican state leaders in the country with a mission of electing more state-level Republican officeholders.