CHARLESTON (AP) — By tying state Democrats to President Obama and Washington, West Virginia Republicans hope to claim congressional wins and end Democrats’ 83-year-rule in the state House of Delegates.
Democrats face their biggest challenge in decades for control of the House of Delegates, where they have a six-seat edge over Republicans.
Republicans say West Virginia is on the same path as some southern states, like Alabama, Arkansas and Tennessee, that had longtime Democratic legislatures and turned Republican. Republicans have fielded candidates for all 117 legislative districts.
But Democrats have kept control in Charleston by claiming an independent streak, saying say they have no allegiance to Obama or congressional Democrats. State House lawmakers recently voted to tighten abortion restrictions, loosen gun laws and maintain tax rates during a significant budget shortfall.