Manchin, Tomblin, Rahall to Skip Convention

Democrats U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and Congressman Nick Rahall, who all face reelection battles this November, have decided to skip the Democratic National Convention in September.

The decisions of the three to stay home come after increasing pressure from Republicans to declare whether or not they support President Obama for reelection.  Rahall, who represents West Virginia’s third district, has already said he backs the President, but Manchin and Tomblin have refused to commit.

The West Virginia Delegate Selection Plan rules suggest that unpledged delegates had to declare who they planned to support.  It appeared that the deadline for the declaration was Tuesday.

Tomblin’s campaign spokesman Chris Stadleman said of the decision, “As he has said, he has serious problems with both Governor Romney and President Obama.  The Governor feels that his time is best spent working in West Virginia to move our state forward instead of attending a four-day political rally in North Carolina.”

Manchin, in a prepared statement, said, "I intend to spend this fall focused on the people of West Virginia, whether that’s representing them in my official U.S. Senate duties or here at home, where I can hear about their concerns and ideas to solve the problems of this great nation. I will remain focused on bringing people together for the next generation, not the next election."

((Chairman Puccio on Talkline))

President Obama is not popular in West Virginia. The GOP is trying to capitalize on that by linking Democratic candidates to the President. Republicans hoped that Manchin and Tomblin would go the convention as Obama delegates."

((Chairman Lucas on Talkline))

Republican U.S. Senate Candiate John Raese did not let Manchin off the hook. 

"No matter how hard Manchin tries to avoid the subject, it appears an obscure rule in the Democrat’s Delegate Selection Plan will require him to make his presidential preference known by tomorrow, Tuesday, June 19th,"
said a statement issued by Raese campaign spokesman Josh Stowards.

And Republican Gubernatorial candidate Bill Maloney kept the heat on Tomblin.

"We have a Governor who is so afraid of his party bosses that he refuses to answer the simple question of whether or not another four year term for Barack Obama is good for our state," said Maloney in a release.  "Now he won’t even attend his party’s convention."

The Democrat National Convention will be held during the week of September 3rd in Charlotte, North Carolina.



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