CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Members of the Kanawha County Republican Executive Committee have started taking steps to possibly name a replacement for Delegate Suzette Raines (R-Kanawha, 35) who announced, earlier this week, she will not be seeking reelection in November.
Raines cited “personal reasons” for her decision to remove her name from the general election ballot.
On Friday morning, those with the Kanawha County Republican Executive Committee met to talk about what’s next.
“We’re just going through the process required by the state to wait for Ms. Raines to file her resignation or her withdrawal and, at that point, we’ll hopefully get an opportunity to replace her on the ballot,” said Fred Joseph, chairman of the Kanawha County Republican Executive Committee.
Joseph said a “large” group of potential replacements have shown an interest in running to represent Kanawha County’s 35th District. A new candidate, Joseph said. will have to be named before Aug. 18.
According to the Secretary of State’s Office, once Raines withdraws, she or the Kanawha County Republican Executive Committee must get permission from the five-member state Election Commission to replace her on the ballot.
That Commission would permit a replacement only if it determines there are circumstances that prevent the candidate from serving, if elected. If not, the spot on the ballot will be left vacant.
Last month, the Democratic Executive Committee filed a complaint against Raines claiming she had lied about where she lives. She was also accused of not filing the paperwork required of candidates by set deadlines.
Raines, who was first elected in 2012, has said Democrats are waging an “ugly political battle” against her and Joseph told MetroNews he agrees with Raines. “It’s just a negative way of attacking a public representative through the court process as opposed to the voting process,” Joseph said.
Raines does plan to serve out the remainder of her term.
Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 4.