CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state Election Commission denied a request Wednesday from Republicans to replace Kanawha County Del. Suzette Raines on the November General Election ballot.

The request came from the Kanawha County Republican Executive Committee after Raines, R-Kanawha, officially withdrew from the race this week. The election commission has the power to replace a candidate if it decides the reasons for the withdraw are enough to keep the candidate from serving if they were to be elected. The commission decided Wednesday Raines’ reasons were not enough to allow Republicans to fill the now empty ballot position.

Commission member Gary Collias said Raines has had a tough time in her personal life but it doesn’t meet the standard the commission has to follow.

“Her mother died in March of this year and she broke up with her boyfriend and I just have difficulty seeing those two circumstances as so extenuating that she’s not going to be able to serve as a delegate,” Collias said.

Friends and colleagues of Raines argued the circumstances have changed the delegate.

“You do not get over something like that overnight,” Raines’ friend and fellow Republican Melody Potter told the commission. “I know we are all involved in politics here but this is really about peoples’ lives and the voter’s rights.”

House of Delegates Minority Leader Tim Armstead argued it was in the best interest of the election panel to make sure voters had as many choices as possible. But commission member Taylor Downs said the commission must be consistent. The commission denied a similar request involving a Mingo County officeholder earlier this year.

“He had a sworn affidavit and a letter from his doctor and that was not enough in our minds (for extenuating circumstances), so it’s important for this commission, as much as possible, to have some sort of consistency,” Downs said.

The 35th Delegate District will now have three Republicans and four Democrats for the four available seats in the November vote. There is nothing preventing a write-in candidate from entering the race.

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  • Rob C.

    I work so hard but all I do is help the Democrats lock in seats. Darn those Democrats for out-smarting me again.

  • Voter

    This makes my blood boil. It really makes me want to just vote a straight GOP ticket even if there are only 3 for 4 openings. Ms. Tennant has lost all credibility at this point as well. I hope she gets crushed by a landslide.

  • Marcus

    She lied. She got caught. She quit. She screwed the Republican Party.

    That's it in a nutshell.

  • Bill

    More bonehead decisions from the great state of Kanawha. Lol. Unbelievable. Now they are doctors too.

  • Robert

    It's just politics. Their decision smells bad. You will never get a fair shake in this state unless you have a politician in your pocket. This is the most corrupt and politically rich state outside the beltway of DC. When did this board become psychologists or psychiatrists. Geez, I'm an Independent but would have approved this request. This is patronage being paid so there is no competition. End of story.

  • RunnerGal

    "So it's important for this commission, as much as possible, to have some sort of consistency". So, where's the consistency in residency requirements for Truman Chafin? Oh, wait, that's right. He's on the majority side. You know, the "Home Team". At least I think that's what Senate President Kessler referred to the Democratic Party when scolding Evan Jenkins for moving to the "Visitors Team". Yep, no partisan politics up in here. Riiiight...Way to stack the odds in your favor WV Dem Committee.

    • Hondo

      RunnerGal, I could not agree more with you. That is why it important to retake the House of Delegates and the Senate this year. Or at least gain as many republican seats as possible. Eventually the liars and cheaters like Truman Chaffin are going to have to "pay the piper" one day.

  • Ray

    How come no one says anything about Truman Chafin, his wife and kids living in a million dollar Charleston house but he represents the 6th district?

    • Monty Burns

      Ray, I have been mentioning that just about every time a Raines story has been written. You are dead right. He lives in South Hills and does not reside in Mingo County. The Republicans need to go after him now for not residing in his district.

      • Appikid

        Of course! They rule to stay in power! It is up to the people! This is just the dems trying to keep control! Vote against them! I saw this coming! It is all about keeping power!

  • hillbilly

    At least the commission was consistent..

    • Gary

      Say what? Lol.

  • Dumb Liberals

    I believe that's the m0r0n's hack Tennant dressed in the blue (very fitting color for the leftist) Hillary "killery" thunder thighs pants suit. It nice to see the liberal tilt of the state (R) execution commission. If they can't win one way, they'll put their socialist tilt on it any way they can. (Where's the tidy bowl captain so he can explain exactly what she's lying about?)

    • Jack McFarland

      Such a patriotic Amerikan you are. A true Republican racist bigot living off the system.. and I know you are.

    • C. F. T.

      No one to blame for this but RRaines, should have kept up with required filings, as well if withdrawal from ballot do so in a way to not create a void. Doing so the way Rains did it gives the most Liberal Dems. in the Legislature a free ride. As to Metro News coverage this article is yet another example of being boast for Tennant in that her name as SOS was never used nor was her picture captioned with her name.

      • Monty Burns

        You are dead wrong CFT. The voters of the 35th district are being cheated by not having a replacement candidate. Plain and simple. Put yourself in her shoes. Losing your mother and having a multi-year relationship/engagment disolve at the same time would strain or break most people's emotions. I bet you have nerves of steel. Cut her a little slack.

        • C. F. T.

          Mr. Burns, I am on you side and agree the voters of 35th. District are being robbed of their vote, however justice is blind to extraneous issues such as Ms. Rains has suffered. She did not properly nor timely file her reports and she withdrew without working through the issue. Facts are facts, and I am not happy the way things have turned out , that bing; 1. Very, Very liberal will get an free pass, 2. Citizens of the 35th. village be dinged a choice for their vote and 3. more importantly Tennant was ignored by the press as an participant, as Mrs. Tennant/Wells is guilty of incompetence in her Office as SOS when dead Bird kicked off and other issues and must be defeated in her run for US Senate, this County will not be able to survive Liberalism.

          • C. F. T.

            P. S. Darn Auro-correct.

        • Lance

          They were cheated when the person they voted for lied and got caught.

          Raines WITHDREW due to her emotional state and not wanting to be exposed for her lies. Plain and simple.

          • Lance

            War on women because she got caught lying? Seriously? Only in the minds of republicans can that be a belief.

            Read the complaint. They had her. She lied.

          • SusieQ

            Just how do you know she lied? That is a huge accusation. Were you part of an official investigation?
            Talking about a War on Women...

  • Olfrt

    Could it possibly be the Democratic War on Women? Oh I forgot it is the other party that is accused of that.

  • South Hills Voter

    I'm writing in Charlotte Lane for Delegate.

  • Gary Karstens

    The right decision!

    • Bill

      Look out Gary your democrat is showing.

  • liberty4all

    Watched the Commission meeting streamed live through the Secretary of State's web site. Gotta love the internet.

    I wish Del. Raines would have been present to respond to some of the assertions made by both sides of the argument involving her. Perhaps it would have provided clarity. Instead the Commission was treated to rantings from a woman who claimed to be channeling Robin Williams (I am not making this stuff up, I missed her name but it provided some entertainment).

    Ultimately, the Commission made the only decision it could have given the facts before it. I would add that the Republican Party has nobody to blame but Del. Raines for possibly losing that seat in the House of Delegates. In my opinion she withdrew so as to avoid further proceedings on the Complaint. Because she is willingto serve the remainder of her term and her decision to withdraw did not come until she was potentially in "hot water", I am not convinced the personal issues in her life were the compelling reasons.

  • voter

    Can she just put her name back on the ballot? I'd still vote for her over the other hacks.

  • Ed of Kanawha

    The long standing Gentlemen's Agreement between the Leaders of the Democrat Party and the Republican Party is now no more. .
    Politics in West Virginia is descending into a new kind of ugly.

    • Truth Squad

      Gentlemens agreement? That is untrue. There have been MULTIPLE filings against democrats by the Republican Party - see WV Republican Party Paid consultant and Wood County Republican Chairman for proof.

    • liberty4all

      It started a long time ago and is a nationwide issue not unique to either side. It has produced an inability to have a rational discussion on the issues and an unwillingness to serve on the part of some of our nation's best and brightest. Who would want to subject themselves to this?

      I wish I had the answer.