INWOOD – The real estate developer who has lost five straight races since leaving the House of Delegates in 2004 has announced his next try for office: He hopes to replace Republican Shelley Moore Capito in Congress next year.
Larry V. Faircloth, 64, was the state’s longest-serving Republican lawmaker eight years ago when he first sought the Republican nomination for governor.
He tried again for the governor’s office in 2008 and 2011 and also lost a bid for the Berkeley County Commission in 2006. Most recently, he finished behind Democrat incumbent Glen Gainer III in November’s statewide race for auditor.
Faircloth, who represented South Berkeley in the House for 24 years, last week sent out a news release saying he has filed pre-candidacy papers with the West Virginia secretary of state’s office for the seat being vacated by Capito.
Capito announced in November that she’ll leave her post representing West Virginia’s 2nd District to run for the U.S. Senate seat held since 1985 by Democrat Jay Rockefeller.
Rockefeller, the state’s senior senator since Robert C. Byrd’s death in 2010, announced earlier this month that he won’t seek another term. Capito, a former member of the West Virginia House of Delegates from Kanawha County, has served in Congress since 2001.
In his news release, Faircloth said his goals in Congress would include creating jobs, balancing the federal budget, protecting Social Security and the Second Amendment, and resisting “any attempt to diminish our freedoms and liberties.” He also describes himself as an opponent of legal abortion and D.C. gridlock.
A licensed real estate broker since 1976, Faircloth founded Faircloth Realty Inc. in 1980. A native of Berkeley County, he was elected to the Legislature that same year.
In his tenure in the House, Faircloth served on a number of committees, including Judiciary, Finance, Banking and Insurance, Special Investigations and House Rules.
In the news release announcing his candidacy, Faircloth noted he served in Charleston alongside Capito and two other West Virginians now serving in Congress: U.S. Rep. David McKinley (R-1
st District) and Manchin, the Democrat who now is West Virginia’s junior senator.
“I will work hard with all members of Congress in both political parties,” Faircloth said in his news release. “In November of 2014, when the election is over, the job of representing the citizens of our state and nation must begin, and the gridlock in Washington, D.C., must stop.”
Faircloth’s last run for political office resulted in him issuing an apology after comments made at a candidates’ forum in Romney drew the ire of both the Jefferson County NAACP and area Tea party leaders.
Faircloth, who was seeking his party’s nomination to fill out the unexpired term left by Joe Manchin after he won election to replace Byrd in the U.S. Senate, was speaking at a Tea Party event in Romney when he used the word “sambo” in reference to President Obama. In the same comment, he also labeled Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi a “bimbo.”
In a statement, NAACP head, George Rutherford, called Faircloth’s remarks “racist and sexist and demeaning,” and “meant to offend women and African-Americans.”
In the November general election, Faircloth’s only son, Larry W. Faircloth, won election as the 60
th Distri Sct rep. Like his father, the 42-year-old Republican businessman lives in Inwood.
The elder Faircloth, who has been married since 2004 to Martinsburg lawyer Laura Rose, also has two daughters, two step-children and a number of grandchildren.