CHARLES TOWN – Young Democrats of America president and agriculture lobbyist Rod Snyder says he is thinking of running for the congressional seat that will be vacated by Shelley Moore Capito in 2014 when she runs for the Senate. He says he expects to come to a final decision by the end of May.
Snyder, 30, said he is weighing several factors in considering his run, including eyeing the overall makeup of the electoral field and considering the substantial fundraising that will be needed. He said he projects about $2 million will be needed to mount a campaign.
“It is going to be a pretty expensive race,” he said. “I’m trying to get a sense for whether I can raise the money that would be needed to be a viable candidate.”
Snyder, the son of West Virginia state Sen. Herb Snyder, said his work as chair of the Young Democrats will help him with fundraising efforts. “I’ve got a pretty significant base of supporters around the country. That does help with fundraising and volunteer work,” he said.
He said he thinks the primary and general election the following year will be competitive.
“Both sides look at this as a toss-up race,” he said. “They know it is going to be competitive and there is going to be a lot of outside money spent in the Second District.”
The primary race for the Second District could attract a large number of candidates. So far, at least two Republicans, Larry Faircloth and Jim Moss, have announced that they will run.
A number of Republican legislators have also said they are considering a run. These include Senate Minority Leader Mike Hall and House Minority Leader Tim Armstead, along with delegates Eric Nelson, Patrick Lane and Steve Harrison. Former party chairman Mike Stuart has also expressed interest.
On the Democratic side, former Commodities and Futures Trading Commission lawyer Matt Dunn has announced that he will run, as has former party chairman Nick Casey. Delegate Doug Skaff has indicated he is considering a run.
“By the end of May, we’ll have a much better sense of what the field will look like,” Snyder said.
In a press release, Snyder noted that his generation may be the first to have a lower standard of living than their parents if economic trends continue unchanged. He said he will make this a key issue in his campaign if he chooses to run.
“Particularly in West Virginia, there has been a concern for many years that, for young people to find a job, they have to leave the state,” he said. “It is a shame. The state has a lot of things going for it and if we were not experiencing brain drain we would be in better shape.
“I think the Eastern Panhandle is actually a pretty good example. We have seen lower unemployment and more steady job growth. How can we begin to expand that across the state?”
Snyder said he is concerned that federal budget cuts are harming areas that will be important for long-run economic growth such as education and infrastructure.
“It seems to me that sometimes we are seeing the wrong things targeted,” he said. “The types of spending that actually make sense are education spending and infrastructure development,” he said.
Snyder previously challenged former delegate John Doyle for his seat in the 2004 Democratic primary, but was able to garner only 30 percent of the votes. He was elected as president of the Young Democrats in 2010.