Roll Call yesterday evaluated the West Virginia political landscape, accurately noting its headlong drive away from the national Democratic leadership. Because of the intriguing contests within, it concentrated mostly on the 2nd and 3rd Districts.
The 1st came at the end as an afterthought. David McKinley, an incumbent expected to handily win re-election in 2014, might run for governor in 2016. Roll Call said "state Republicans" speculated that were that to happen, McKinley's son. Delegate Amanda Pasdon, or Mac Warner were the main contenders. This actually was an update from the original guess which was Mary Lou Retton.
"State Republicans" left a lot of possible names off of that list, including Delegate Gary Howell. Howell ascended to leadership positions in the House much sooner than most. He also raised more money for his 2012 campaign than almost any other delegate from a rural district. As a small businessman and chairman of a national automotive caucus, Howell has numerous contacts with industry.
Howell also spearheaded an intense and ongoing bipartisan effort to lure a major food manufacturing center from California to the Potomac Highlands of West Virginia.
Charleston based Republicans, unfortunately, often overlook the many emerging leaders in the Eastern Panhandle. In this case, it left a national publication with the impression that Republicans only had a handful of options in 2016 should McKinley move on and Tim Miley run for the seat. That hurts the party as a whole.