PRINCETON, W.Va. — A retired U.S. Army colonel announced Monday his bid for the state House of Delegates seat currently held by Republican Delegate Eric Porterfield.

Princeton resident Doug Smith will challenge Porterfield for the Republican nomination in District 27.

“I believe Southern West Virginia deserves a conservative representative who will provide a voice to the citizens by creating better jobs, fixing our roads, fighting the drug epidemic, building a disciplined education system and eliminating oversized bureaucracy in government,” Smith said in a statement.

Committee Smith 4 WV House

Doug Smith

Smith described his platform as pro-life, pro-2nd Amendment and pro-business.

The announcement did not mention Porterfield, whose statements earlier this year about the LGBTQ community sparked national media attention and rebukes by Democrats. West Virginia’s Republican Party denounced comments in which Porterfield compared LGBTQ activists to members of the Ku Klux Klan.

Porterfield, a first-term House member, previously indicated he will run for re-election. He and two other Republicans, incumbents John Shott and Joe Ellington, were elected in 2018 to represent the district.

Former House member Marty Gearheart announced earlier this month his candidacy to replace Shott, who is considering retirement.