CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A Kanawha County delegate cites the ongoing effects of her mother’s death in March and the end of a long-term relationship as reasons for her request to withdraw from the ballot for the Nov. 4 general election.

Del. Suzette Raines (R-Kanawha, 35)

Del. Suzette Raines (R-Kanawha, 35) said she would file her withdrawal paperwork with the Secretary of State’s Office by Monday afternoon. She first announced her decision last week.

“I’ve had a very, very difficult time over the last year and struggled to just take care of day-to-day responsibilities as an individual and, at the time that I filed (to run in January), I was very hesitant because I knew all the things that were going on in my life and didn’t realize that the worst was yet to come,” Raines said on Monday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

“It’s just the responsible thing to do at this juncture and I hope to have an opportunity to have an impact in the future.”

Last month, the Democratic Party filed a complaint against Raines claiming she lied about where she was living and had not met several candidacy filing requirements.

Raines admitted she had missed filing deadlines, but denied the residency issues. “I have never lived outside of my district,” Raines maintained.

The question now is whether the Kanawha County Republican Executive Committee can replace Raines on the ballot with less than three months remaining before the general election. Fred Joseph, committee chair, told MetroNews last week the committee intended to do so, if possible, by choosing from those in “a large group” that had shown an interest in running.

A request to name a replacement must be filed with the State Election Commission this week.

According to the Secretary of State’s Office, it’s up to the State Election Commission to determine if there are circumstances that prevent Raines from serving, if elected. If no such circumstances are found, her spot on the ballot will be left vacant.

Raines said she believes she cannot serve. “I fear that if I would go on with the campaign I may not have my personal and professional life in order to be able to serve when the time comes,” she said. “I love public service. I love campaigning. I still will be involved in the community in some capacity but right now is just not the time for me to be a candidate.”

Here is the full statement Raines planned to submit with her withdrawal paperwork:

I need to withdraw from the race for a seat in the 35th Delegate District because of personal issues flowing from the death of my mother this past March. She passed after an extended battle with cancer and I was with her constantly in the last year of her life. She was initially diagnosed with a seemingly early stage of lung cancer that had a high cure rate. After being deemed cancer free and in remission in late October of 2013, her condition began to rapidly deteriorated despite numerous scans and radiology reports that indicated there were no abnormalities.

During this increasing difficult time I also ended an engagement after a 7-8 year relationship. As a result, I struggled from this deep void in my support system while simultaneously attempting to establish a new and safe home. The details of those challenges I do not wish to discuss.

In January 2014 my mother’s healthcare providers determined the radiology reports indicating no abnormalities were inaccurate and a PET Scan revealed a more aggressive and rapid growing form of the disease had quickly spread throughout her body.

After losing my father to metastatic colon cancer in 2004, my younger brother and I were (proudly) our mother’s primary caregivers throughout the last stages of her life.

The deterioration of nearly every aspect of my life has taken a significant toll on my emotional well-being, my career and ability to provide for the increased financial demands as I now assume responsibility for my mother’s obligations and properties, coupled with the immense grief after the tragic and unexpected loss of both parents at a young age.

Upon the advice of medical professionals, I have chosen to eliminate pressures and distractions in my life that do not allow me to fully address the grief that flows from this great loss. I am hopeful to return to public service at some point in the future, but for now I must choose to step away from that arena in order to deal with this loss. Remediating the debilitating impact the events of the last year have had on my life are essential to restoring my health in order to rebuild my life both personally and professionally. It is with deep sadness and regret that I acknowledge my ability to serve to my full potential if successful in the November 4, 2014 election would be compromised as a result of the aforementioned circumstances.

I filed for re-election in January 25, 2014 with the knowledge that the prognosis for my mother was not good, but never did our family imagine what was just around the corner. I prayed for the best in terms of her health. Mistakenly I believed despite the outcome for my mother, whose life was cut far too short, I would be healthy and capable of moving on with all aspects of my life, including public service. It simply requires more time to heal and I would be unable to serve if elected at this time in my life.

The most responsible course of action is to seek permission to withdraw from the 2014 election.

Raines was first elected to the state House of Delegates in 2012. She does plan to serve out her current term in the state House of Delegates which runs through the end of this year.

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  • william

    She is SMOKIN' HOT!

  • blue

    After reading this article it is very apparent that Ms. Raines is as beautiful inside as she is out . Good luck Ms. Raines . Life will get better .

  • John

    My heart goes out to you. Your a very beautiful woman with a big heart. Don't let the scrubs that have nothing better to do attack you and upset you. They will eventually move on to something else. Keep the faith and try your best let karma take care of the rest.

  • Mark

    Very transparent as a public servant and noble as a daughter. I have walked in these shoes. I wish her the best. I agree, she is quite a catch.

  • william

    What's her phone number, I want to ask her out!
    Then on first date ask her to marry me.

  • thornton

    Nice to see a politico with a Reverse gear instead of a rearview mirror.

  • Guardian

    I am terribly sorry for all of the issues Suzette Raines is enduring. All of these things happening at once in her life assuredly impacted her ability to make a clear cut decision in January. I believe her. If she'd have known in January what she knows now, she would have not registered to run for this term.

    I'm going to state it in plain, blunt language - had it not been a question vis-a-vis her residency, it would have been something else.

    Suzette Raines is the democrats worst nightmare, not only in WV, but nationally. She's quite smart, she's successful in business, she's very attractive, and she is definitely electable.

  • liberty4all

    Maybe I am too cynical, but I do not think the fact this complaint was filed against her PRIOR to her realization she cannot serve and should withdraw is simply a coincidence. Nothing she said in the interview with Hoppy made me change my mind.

    I am sorry for her personal losses and wish her well. I will be interested to see how the suit plays out and to see if she truly acknowledges her responsibility in all of this.

  • Wirerowe

    This had nothing to do with Ms. Raines. I wish her all the best. This was all about the democrats keeping the house in November which I think they will do. Not a good thing for the state but the die is cast. Hope I am wrong. We need a two party system in the state to move forward.

  • Jim N Charleston

    Shame. She's an attractive woman. She would have got my vote.

    Always vote based on looks, who has more hair, and who you want to have a beer with. She was a triple threat from where I sit.

    All I got
    I'm Jim N TX

  • Truth Squad

    If stress is a reason you cannot serve, then by her own logic, she would have had to resign in January or March.

    She is trying to pull (another) fast one. I hope the commission doesn't reward this type of behavior by letting them replace her.

    If they do, it could set a bad precedent for the parties to pull their weak candidates out before the elections and fill them with stronger ones all due to stress.

    Bad idea.

    • Monty Burns

      Now go after the dems that are not living in there district. Truman Chaffin does not live in Mingo county. Where is the witchhunt to get rid of him! Such a double standard.

      • Truth Squad

        She is saying she resigned due to stress. Is Chafin under stress too?

        • Monty Burns

          No. Chaffin does not reside in his district. That is why they went after Raines to begin with. No one is investigating him.

          • Truth Squad

            I don't know what you say to be true, why would I file anything? Whoever "knows" the information for sure, should file.

          • Monty Burns

            Ok Truth Squad. Your name implies you are about the truth. Put your money where your mouth is and file a suit. Oh, who filed the suit against Raines, Dems.

          • Truth Squad

            She didn't complete the required disclosures and she lied about where she lived. That is a suit she should have to answer to regardless of her withdrawing due to stress.

            I guess my question to you would be, why doesn't anyone file a suit against Chafin if he is lying? Where is the double standard if no one is filing suit against him?

        • Truth Squad

          *withdrew not resigned

    • Bob

      As a person who votes for the best candidate and not the party, I totally agree. This is a very slippery slope. Because of HER actions the Republican Party will and should lose this seat.

      We can't allow this seat to be filled. If we do, both parties will be playing musical chairs with weak candidates.

    • Barry

      Wow...way to go with the darts that you want to throw out there for someone who is doing it right! I guess your life is perfect, and you have never had any problems which would make it hard for you to fulfill your obligations. While my heart goes out to her, I applaud her for giving it everything she had before she gave up, and realized that the best thing for her and her constituents was to not bite off more than she can chew for now.

      Instead of berating her, why don't we just thank her for her service, and wish her the best?

      • Bob

        I thank you Suzette for your service and I wish you all the best. How's that?

        • Truth Squad

          Truth one berated her. It was about the facts of the process and reality of events.

          I guess the truth hurts sometimes but still wish her all the best. (I guess the truth can be nice too.)

  • hillbilly

    If she feels that she cannot devote her best to do the job, and is withdrawing, that is a plus for her in my book.

  • Monty Burns

    I hope commentars have the decency to lay off of her and not start just throwing out wild accusations. She did the right thing and dropped out instead of pulling a "Mark Plants." I hope she runs again one day. I can sympathize with her. The death of a parent and the end of a long term relationship would mess a lot of people up. I hope she gets better and gets back in the saddle. Time will heal her wounds.

    • Monty Burns

      commenters for you spelling nazis out there.