Tennant, Warner matchup set for Secretary of State’s race in November

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, a Democrat, will face a challenge from Republican Mac Warner, a Morgantown attorney, in the Nov. 8 general election as she seeks to keep her seat on the Board of Public Works for another four years.

MetroNews was projecting both Tennant and Warner secured their respective party nominations in Tuesday’s primary, according to unofficial results.

A 23 year U.S. Army veteran, Warner wrapped up nearly five years of work as a civilian contractor in Afghanistan with the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Justice Sector Support Program earlier this year before getting into the SOS race.

“I’d like to come home to West Virginia and do for my home state what I’ve been doing in other countries around the world,” Warner said of his reasons for running.

Barry Holstein from Kanawha County, a more than 20 year veteran of the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserves with experience in operations management, also sought the GOP nomination.

Delegate Patsy Trecost (D-Harrison, 48), a former Clarksburg mayor and Clarksburg city councilmember, challenged Tennant in the Democratic primary.

“I do not want to be Secretary of State as a stepping stone to another office. I want to be Secretary of State so I can learn the position,” Trecost said when he announced his candidacy in January.

Tennant is seeking a third term after first being elected to the Secretary of State’s Office in 2008 and re-elected in 2012.

She unsuccessfully ran for U.S. Senate in 2014 against current U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and finished third in a crowded field of candidates in the 2011 special gubernatorial election behind Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and then-House Speaker Rick Thompson (D-Wayne, 17).

The Secretary of State is the official keeper of the State Seal, handles registrations of all businesses and corporations, charities, professional fundraisers, private investigators, sports agents and marriage officiants operating in West Virginia.

Additionally, the Secretary of State serves as West Virginia’s Chief Election Officer, publishes the State Register and authenticates state documents.

There are no term limits for Secretary of State. The requirements are that a candidate for the office be a citizen entitled to vote and a resident of West Virginia for at least the preceding five years.