CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The chairman of the state Republican Party says the GOP will be “exploring all means necessary” to ensure four Republicans are on the ballot for the four seats in the 35th House District during the November general election.

File photo

Marie Sprouse-McDavid

On Monday, Marie Sprouse-McDavid filed to run as a regular candidate after members of the Kanawha County Republican Executive Committee met Saturday and chose her to replace Kanawha County Delegate Suzette Raines (R-Kanawha).

Raines officially withdrew from the House race last week citing personal reasons.

“She (Sprouse-McDavid) will be on the ballot this fall and we’ll explore any means possible to make sure that happens,” Conrad Lucas, state GOP chair, said.

“We’re not going to sit by and allow the Democrat Party to proceed with patronizing hubris and we’re going to fight back.”

That fight will most likely next move to court.

The Secretary of State’s Office acknowledged the receipt of Sprouse-McDavid’s certificate of announcement and the payment of her $100 filing fee on Monday, but officials said that filing would not be processed until a court ordered the State Election Commission to allow a replacement for Raines to be named.

Last week, the State Election Commission did not find “extenuating circumstances” that would be enough to keep Raines from serving in the 35th House District, if she was reelected to a second term. Because of that, the State Election Commission said her ballot spot would remain vacant.

If a court order reversing that decision is not possible, Lucas said Sprouse-McDavid could also file later to run as a write-in candidate. The first goal, though, according to Lucas, is to get Sprouse-McDavid — who finished 5th in the May primary election — on the ballot.

“The real victims in this, of course, are the citizens of the 35th District. They voted for four Republicans and this fall they should have the opportunity to vote for four Republicans,” Lucas said. “That’s absolutely the best interpretation of democracy.”

Lucas was a guest on Monday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

Any gains for the Republicans this fall could change the leadership in the state House of Delegates. The split is currently 53-47 in favor of Democrats.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 4.

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  • sammy

    No! We do not need another Sprouse at the State Capitol.

  • Inez

    Is it the Democrats' fault that Raines says she can't serve if re-elected, but she is still able to finish her term? She did not do her paperwork. All because of grief. My sympathies, but she submitted no medical evidence or documentation. She is able to campaign, socialize, and post on Facebook, though. She has been seen in Northern Panhandle. Evidently, she can travel.
    The law does not have a provision for a candidate to change their mind at this point.
    So sue. Oh right, that is what Republicans are going to do.
    By the way, yelling about Robin Williams at end of hearing-classy.

  • arp

    Will be tough to accomplish this, as much as it is warranted--most of the circuit judges are very partisan Democrats. What are they afraid of? They're afraid the voters may actually elect a Republican House of Delegates for the first time since 1928! We can't have that, now can we?

  • Roger

    Geez! I'd vote for her just on her looks! She's a lot more purtiful than some of the other candidates. She's got my vote!

  • West Virginia GOP

    It's the Democrats fault our candidate withdrew due to extenuating circumstances she's dealing with in her family life.

    Wait..What? We are supposed to try to sell that?


    (Hopefully that distracted everyone enough to ignore the first part.)

  • Chef Camille

    I think Booth and Carte are liking this.

  • WVian

    The law is the law. Why is it that Republicans don't like that law? They cry "victim" when it applies to them?

    Stop being a bunch of cry babies, Delegate Raines made this happen and you have to live with it.

    • Guardian

      It's not a law - they are election rules promulgated by elected officials to satisfy a law.

      Republicans have never been in control in this state since the late 1920s, so they DID NOT have a voice in making these election rules in WV.

    • wvumounties8

      And the Dems never do the same......ignorance is bliss for you !!

  • Guardian

    I have just two really basic questions. 1) How does it benefit voters if the ballot only contains 3 republicans with the 4 democrats in the 35th district? Or better stated, 2) what is the issue with filling the slot on the ballot and making the race 4 republican candidates versus 4 democrat candidates?

    Does the Secretary of State and the State Election Commission fear the voters having an even choice and an even playing field?

    And yes, before anyone jumps in and accuses me - I would have exactly the same position if the ballot vacancy was on the democrat side. I know folks won't want to believe that, but I swear that that would still be my position.

    Here is what the perception is to the typical voter - it is perceived that the democrats very much prefer the ballots of old where there would be no opposition names on the ballot and all of their candidates ran unopposed.

    • The bookman

      We have rules that are purposed to maintain the integrity of elections. The process has played out, and attempting to use the courts to force a ruling in your favor is distasteful in my view. Move on Republicans. This looks bad from here.

      • Guardian

        Who made our state election rules? The democrat majority since 1928? That actually is beside the point. The point is it is a bad rule. This rule is depriving voters of a choice. Why should anybody care if the ballot spot has a replacement candidate? You then have more choices and voters in the 35th district can choose which 4 people will represent them.

        • The bookman

          Say, for argument sake, Tim Miley was embroiled in a scandal that rendered him unelectable following the primary. In a close election year, where one seat could determine majority, the Democrats decided it was in their best interest to replace Miley on the ballot to a well known, easily electable candidate as opposed to taking their chances with Miley.

          Would that be working the system or giving the voters the choice? The rules are established for everyone. Fair or not, regardless of the rule, they apply to all parties. All one has to do is follow the rules and you make it to Election Day. Raines' resignation from the race is subject at best, indicative of guilt at worst. The Republicans won three out of the four seats in 2012, so they at least have that same opportunity to match that number. I suggest they get focussed on that mission and stop doing more damage than good with this foolish legal maneuver.

  • william

    Why did Metronews use a terrible picture?
    Her head is sideways, gees

    • wvrocks

      Looks like all they could find was a facebook "selfie"

  • Tyrone

    What a crock of crap.. I hope that they say no and she is not on the ballot. This is like a group of kids on a playground..

    • Low Rider

      Stated like a true democrat. Let's do anything we can to win this seat!

      • WVians

        Yeah true democrats make republican delegates withdraw due to their mom dying and breaking up with their boyfriend. Makes perfect sense.

        • wvumounties8

          Both parties are full of idiots.........mostly the voters!!