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Republicans regained control of the House of Delegates for the first time since 1931 and earned a split in the West Virginia state Senate.


CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Republicans made a hard charge to power in the West Virginia legislature, taking control of the House of Delegates and pulling even in the state Senate.

The GOP hasn’t enjoyed a majority in the 100-seat House of Delegates since 1931 but made historic gains in Tuesday’s general election. Republicans closed the night with a 64-36 edge, picking up 17 seats after entering the election trailing 53-47.

“You’re going to see a major difference in the way things occur in Charleston,” said Tom Fast, who led the 32nd District race and became the first Fayette County Republican elected to the state House since 1928. He had company as Kayla Kessinger also was among the three delegates elected from that district.

“West Virginia is in trouble,” Fast said, “and a lot of people realize that.”

ELECTION RESULTS: Totals from all West Virginia races

Democrats saw their 24-10 majority in the state Senate trimmed to a 17-17 deadlock. Among the most stunning upsets was the ouster of Truman Chafin who had served in the Senate since 1982. He was unseated by Mark Maynard in the 6th District that reaches McDowell, Mercer, Mingo and Wayne counties.

“I’m very grateful and I’m going to represent the district the best that I can,” said Maynard, who operates a used car lot and salvage yard and spends his free time working on an NHRA funny car team.

“I’m just a guy that represents the area on average. I don’t feel like I’m better than anybody else, but I think I can represent the folks here because I’m one of them.”

Voters in the 59th District made 18-year-old Sarah Blair the youngest delegate-elect in state history. A West Virginia University freshman and daughter of former lawmaker Craig Blair, she scored 3,131 votes to more than double Democrat challenger Layne Diehl.

Blair thanked supporters on her campaign’s Facebook page:

“When I made the decision to run for public office, I did so because I firmly believe that my generation’s voice, fresh perspective and innovative ideas can help solve some of our state’s most challenging issues. History has been made tonight in West Virginia, and while I am proud of all that we have accomplished together, it is the future of this state that is now my singular focus.”

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  • J.R. Skene

    And this is good for WV? Less restrictions on coal, greater tax breaks for the companies raping and pillaging the hills of this state, brainwashing the electorate - yeah, this is all positive. The citizens of this state are pawns and have been duped into believing the strong national economy is a bad thing. Unreal. But, 2016 is another year after what will be a cycle of failed GOP legislative leadership. Reap what you sow, people.

    • The Truth Hurts

      I am sorry you are upset; did you lose a race last night? I'm not a pawn; but you sound a lot like the unemployed Nicky.

    • WV Guru

      The pawns have spoken and they said: 80 years of the Democratic Rule has brought us nothing and is no longer wanted.

    • Really

      Because this hasn't been going on under democratic leadership, right, right?!

    • Aaron

      J.R. how can you say after 80+ years that just after the Republicans the electorate is being brainwashed? 80+ years of the same, failed ideas!

      • ViennaGuy

        He's a sore loser. In another thread, he tried to blame Republican governors for all of the state's problems ... never mind that we've only elected three Republicans to the governor's office since 1928.

      • Notaaron

        I don't know know Jack Wipes have to use screen names that other people use.

  • Realist

    Will be back in March after the legislature meets and do my best to not say I told you so.

  • Chef Camille

    Somewhere in a small room Booth, Carte and that lady that inherited the Tourism Chair is discussing whether to move to New York or Massachusetts. Pa Pa Doc Obama is sending his helicopter to rescue the West Virginia Royalty. Lord Rockefeller who ruled for years from afar never came back to help the serfs.

  • melvin

    Where is your fact checker?? Craig Blair is not a "former lawmaker." He is a current State Senator and is in line to be the next Senate Finance Chairman.

  • old timer

    now the next time we need to get rid of Joe the weasel and send a real west Virginian to Washington regardless of party. hopefully everyone will stay awake and remember his fund raiser in new york city with Michael Bloomberg and being buddy buddy with Harry "coal is making us sick" Reid.

  • JTL

    It's just a shame that Manchin's seat wasn't up for re-election.

  • Molon Labe

    Well done!

    Now please don't screw this up.

    • Gat

      Well said !

  • JTL

    A very historic Election Day for WV, message sent.

    I'd like to believe this was a victory for WV and for the constitution of the U.S. and I'm not saying it's not. Having family in politics I can say with 100% confidence and accuracy that behind closed doors they're all one and the same.

    But still, a historic day and I for one welcome the change. Again... Message sent.

  • Realist

    Voters fell for the Election Day sideshow. Nothing will change. Both sides will blame the other.

  • RogerD

    Every Republican victor tonight should send a personal thank you to Obama.

  • Grey

    Now let's get to helping West Virginia. Give tax incentives and lets get new business's in our state. Let counties decide if they want to be right to work counties. Let's get some roads finished. Jobs. Jobs. Jobs.

  • Charlie

    It's a great day to be a republican in West Virginia right nick

    • Protechcpa

      You beat me to the punch. I'll just add an "Amen, brother".

  • Hop'sHip

    Impressive win. Those who welcome this change, what are your priorities of what should be done?

  • dangerousdaneerfan

    84 years of democrat rule are finally over. I never dreamed this day would happen. It has not been too many years ago that Donna Boley was the only GOP member of the Senate and all the GOP members of the House could hold a caucus in a phone booth.

  • Phil

    It's about time! Let's get something done in this state! I'm proud of you, WV.

    • Hop'sHip

      What do YOU want done?

      • ViennaGuy

        I want to see baseline budgeting eliminated and replaced with the One-Cent Solution for budgeting. Baseline budgeting, with its automatic annual increases, is the main reason why the state has trouble keeping its budget in check. The One-Cent Solution would force the governor and the Legislature to actually prioritize spending and cut the fluff.

      • Epteach

        Repeal common core in education. Reduce corporate taxes so we can attract jobs. Need more?

        • In da stickes

          Finish Corridor H. It is the best economic development tool we have in our arsenal. Straight shot to the inland port in Front Royal, VA.

        • Aaron

          I do. I want Quality roads to drive onand that's just a start.

          • The real Aaron

            I don't want patches. I want quality roads, bridges, water and sewer, and an viable energy grid that I'm not worried about failing when global warming hits and the temperature dips to minus Fahrenheit for days on end.

          • B. T. Maynard

            Amen Aaron. My last text to Mark Maynard was asking him to put Wayne County DOH off their cans and get them to patching the potholes.