CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State Senate President Bill Cole filed pre-candidacy papers to run for office in 2016 but didn’t declare whether he plans to campaign for governor.
It’s believed Cole (R-Mercer), who ascended to Senate president following the historical 2014 election, is leaning toward a run for the GOP nomination for governor. His Senate seat is also up for election next year.
Cole and two fellow Republicans, 1st District Congressman David McKinley and state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, have been weighing runs for governor.
State Senator Jeff Kessler (D-Marshall) has filed pre-candidacy papers to run for the Democratic nomination and Greenbrier Resort owner Jim Justice, also a Democrat, is expected to make a decision soon on whether he will seek to replace Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin
Tomblin is completing his second term and cannot seek re-election.
The Friends of Bill Cole is the name of the Cole’s campaign committee.