CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Delegate Marty Gearheart (R-Mercer, 27) says he’s running for West Virginia’s third congressional district seat this year.

Del. Marty Gearheart (R-Mercer, 27)

“I will be on the ballot,” Geartheart announced on Thursday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

This will be Gearheart’s second run for Congress. He ran for the same seat in 2010, but lost in the Primary Election.

“I’m looking forward to taking on that race with much more vigor than we have in the past,” he said.

Gearheart has served in the West Virginia House of Delegates for past eight years.

Thursday’s announcement means Gearheart becomes the sixth Republican candidate to run for the seat currently held by Rep. Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) who is running for U.S. Senate.

The other five GOP candidates vying for the seat include West Virginia Republican Party Chair Conrad Lucas, Cabell County Delegate Carol Miller, Logan County Delegate Rupie Philips, former Mercer County Delegate Rick Snuffer and Beckley physician Ayne Amjad.

There are three Democratic candidates including Logan County Senator Richard Ojeda, Huntington Mayor Steve Williams and Tri-State Transit Authority CEO Paul Davis.

Gearheart said he stands out from the other candidates because he’s a true conservative. He said West Virginians proved in 2016 that GOP leadership is important.

“I believe that the election of President Trump has indicated here in West Virginia that we, in fact, like that. We want strong conservatives. We want lower taxes, less spending. We want to do the things that are being reported by the current administration. I’m the guy to bring that forward,” he said.

“Not only have I said that I was a conservative, but if you examine the last eight years of voting records and rhetoric I am a conservative. I’ve proven it time and time again.”

Gearheart said he knows how to relate to people and plans to get out and talk with West Virginians about their concerns.

“I believe that people, in fact, do connect with who I am. I’m the kind of guy you can go to a ball game with or we can sit down and talk about the equipment inventory tax and we can do it in an enjoyable circumstance instead of making your eyes glaze over,” he said. “When I look at the folks in this race, I believe that I’m unique in that capability.”

Primary Election Day in West Virginia is May 8.

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