Elections, West Virginia Legislature

Some Mon County state Senate primary candidates already eyeing the general, campaign finance reports suggest

MORGANTOWN – If campaign finance reports tell the story, the leading candidates for Monongalia County’s two state Senate districts already have their eyes on the general election, although the primary doesn’t occur until Tuesday.

For the district that includes Preston, it’s a little less clear cut, but two candidates stand out.

All three districts, then 2nd, 13th and 14th, were redrawn during the October redistricting special session.

The figures come from the candidates’ Primary Reports, covering the period of April 1-24. The primary election is set for Tuesday, May 10.

13th District

The 13th District still runs along the I-68 corridor from Morgantown to Fairmont but has changed shape. Among the changes, on the east side it ends at the Preston border, where the 14th currently juts into Mon. Its northeast portion no longer runs up past I-68 where the interstate turns due east.

Former state Sen. Mike Oliverio faces Carly Braun for the GOP nomination. Delegate Barbara Evans Fleischauer faces Rich Jacobs for the Democratic nomination. The big money is with Oliverio and Fleischauer.

Braun opened the period with $2,610, raised nothing and spent $2,500, leaving a balance of $110.

Oliverio, on the other hand, opened with $25,634.08. He raised $9,620.22 from seven individuals and six PACs, along with $3,500 at a Morgantown fundraiser.

He spent $10,526.79, leaving a balance of $28,227.51.

Fleischauer opened with the biggest purse of any local legislative race, House or Senate: $88,023. And it got bigger.

She raised $33,420. She tallied 153 small contributions ($250 or less) totaling $13,720 and $19,700 in larger donations from 22 individuals and eight PACs. She spent $4,318.42, leaving a balance of $112,124.58.

Jacobs opened with $200, raised and spent nothing this period, ending with his opening balance of $200.

2nd District

The current 2nd District spans all of five counties and parts of four others, including western Marion and western and northern Mon into Morgantown. The new 2nd will be smaller, spanning all of three counties and parts of three others. The 2nd District’s borders in Mon and Marion are roughly the same but not identical.

Republican incumbent Charles Clements and Democrat challenger Eric Hayhurst are unopposed in the primary, but the dollars show that Hayhurst is aiming to unseat the incumbent.

Last reporting period, Clements opened with $2,000 and received another $2,700 from individuals and PACs. He spent nothing, leaving a balance of $4,700. This period, he has no Primary Report on the secretary of state’s website.

Meanwhile, Hayhurst opened with $8,288.58 and raised $9,510 from 11 individuals and five PACs. He also gave his campaign $300 in-kind.

He spent spent $3,061.97, leaving a balance of $14,736.61.

14th District

The 14th District shrunk in size a bit during redistricting. It currently covers all of five counties – Preston, Barbour, Hardy, Taylor and Tucker – and parts of Mon, Grant and Mineral. The new 14th will cover all of Preston, Tucker, Grant, Hardy and Mineral and part of Taylor. Mon is out.

Amanda Pitzer is the sole Democrat on the ballot. Five Republicans are vying for the seat. They are Angela Iman, William Keplinger, James Lough, Stephen Garth Smith and Jay Taylor.

Pitzer opened with $5,125. With no primary challenger, she raised and spent nothing, leaving a balance of $5,125.

Iman has run a self-funded, shoestring campaign. Last period, she gave her campaign $725 and spent all of it, leaving a $0 balance. This time she gave her campaign $5.17 and spent it on business cards, leaving once again a $0 balance.

Keplinger opened with a $0 but raised $1,900 from four PACs. He spent nothing, leaving a $1,900 balance.

Lough had not filed a First Quarter report when we’d published our previous story but did so later. It showed he gave his campaign $10,000 and spent $7,336.38, leaving a balance of $2,663.62.

This period, he raised no additional funds but spent another $1,010.49, leaving a balance of $1,653.13.

Smith is almost entirely self-funded. Last period he gave his campaign $540 and lent it $6,860. He spent $7,219.95, leaving a balance of $180.05.

This time he received $150 from a single donor and gave his campaign $325. He spent the $325, leaving a balance of $330.05.

Taylor has been the leading GOP fundraiser for this district. He opened with $2,674.20 and raised $2,727.18 from eight individuals and two PACs.

He spent $1,167.88, leaving a balance of $4,233.50.

Tweet David Beard @dbeardtdp Email dbeard@dominionpost.com