The next State Senate race in 2016 for West Virginia’s 6th District could be interesting.
The new redistricting for the 6th includes parts of McDowell, Mercer, Mingo and Wayne Counties.
There is an open seat in 2016 because incumbent Republican Senator Bill Cole is running for Governor.
There has not been a Republican to throw their hat in the ring yet for Cole’s seat. But according to a column I read on WV Metro News by my good friend and radio talk show host Hoppy Kercheval, one GOP source says the party is close to firming up a candidate.
On the Democratic side, Princeton attorney Rocky Seay has filed to run. Williamson area Delegate Justin Marcum (D-Mingo) is seriously considering, but has not announced his candidacy for the State Senate.
“I’ve been polling it and meeting with the people in the district to see what they want. I am really considering, praying, and talking with the family about it,” Marcum told the Williamson Daily News. “I’ve got great support and polls are very favorable.”
“I have not officially declared but am really considering,” Marcum stressed.
Former Senator Truman Chafin (D-Mingo) is sincerely considering running again after getting upset by Mark Maynard (R-Wayne) in 2014.
Politics is in Chafin’s blood. His late father Tom Chafin was a former County Clerk and Sheriff in Mingo County and one of the “old school” politicians.
Truman Chafin was also elected to the West Virginia State Democratic Executive Committee and served as a delegate to the 1996 and 2000 Democratic National Conventions.
Redistricting could give an advantage to candidates from Mercer County, but don’t count out anyone in the race, especially the Mingo County candidates.
It will be interesting to see if Chafin reenters politics. Don’t be surprised if he does.
I’m sure the upset by Maynard in the last election left a bad taste in his mouth. Chafin narrowly lost getting 11,172 votes (49 percent), while Maynard received 11,561 votes (51 percent). Chafin knows he did not campaign like he should have and had done in the past. I am sure he won’t make that mistake again.
Chafin started out as a Mingo County Commissioner in the late 1970s and then entered the senate, where he served for 32 years.
No doubt Marcum has higher ambitions than staying in the House of Delegates.
Incumbents Bob Plymale (D-Wayne, and Art Kirkendoll (D-Logan, 7) are both expected to seek re-election for their separate seats.
Kirkendoll is considered a strong candidate to retain his seat, formerly held by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.
… On the local level, several persons have already pre-registered to run for various offices in Mingo County. One that won’t be running is longtime Magistrate Dee Sidebottom.
Sidebottom plans to retire after her term expires. Fellow Magistrate Pam Newsome had already retired after serving for several years.
The WDN will keep you posted on these and other pre-election news and filings in the future.
(Kyle Lovern is the Editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)