Donors are already ponying up big money for candidates running for the U. S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. John D. Rockefeller.
Secretary of State Natalie Tennant raised more than $150,000 in the first 13 days of her campaign. But that paled in comparison to the $777,500 raised during the same period by Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, he leading GOP candidate to succeed Sen. Rockefeller. Capito, a Republican, first announced her intention to run for the Senate in 2012 and has collected more than $4.1 million in total fundraising.
Candidates for both the Senate and House of Representatives had to report their fundraising totals for the third quarter that ended Sept. 30 by last Tuesday.
Current state Sen. Evan Jenkins, who recently switched his political affiliation from Democrat to Republican and is one of three candidates for the GOP nomination for Rep. Capito’s seat in the House, reported his campaign raised $207,000 during the July-September quarter, the largest third quarter total of any of the potential House candidates who provided the information to the Charleston Daily Mail.
Longtime Congressman Nick Rahall raised about $153,000 during the third quarter in his campaign for the Third Congressional District. Ron Walters Jr., one of three GOP candidates running for the Second Congressional District seat that Rep. Capito will be giving up, reported raising “more than” $106,000 for the quarter. But former Maryland state Sen. Alex Mooney — now chairman of the GOP in this state — has a slight edge over Walters in total campaign funds raised.
Meanwhile, the difficult issue of how to pay for much needed highway construction and maintenance in West Virginia prompted three Republican members of the House of Delegates to travel to neighboring Virginia last week to learn how that state pays for its road construction projects.
Delegate Gary Howell, R-Mineral, said the three are dissatisfied with recommendations made by the governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Highways.
Eastern Panhandle lawmakers Republican Paul Espinosa, of Jefferson County, and Morgan County Republican Daryl Cowles joined Howell in the trip to Richmond to meet with Virginia’s House of Delegates Speaker William Howell.
All three lawmakers say they plan to foot the cost of their one-day trip.