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[West Virginia] GOP sets its sights on 2004
Clarksburg Exponent and Telegram ^ | April 14, 2003 | Jim Fisher

Posted on 04/14/2003 8:57:53 PM PDT by JohnnyZ

CLARKSBURG -- About 200 Republican Party supporters attended the annual Lincoln Day fund-raising dinner Saturday night in Clarksburg.

It was the first time in several years the fund-raiser had been in Clarksburg, said Dick Laughlin, chair of the Harrison County Republican Executive Committee. Laughlin and other GOP officials were encouraged by the heavy attendance Saturday. The event sold out.

"The Republican Party is back and kicking again in Harrison County," Laughlin said.

The dinner's guest speaker, former Gov. Arch Moore, agreed. Moore noted the GOP has made several advances in the last few elections, both statewide and nationally. The party has made significant gains in both the state House of Delegates and Senate.

While Moore, and other Republicans obviously are happy to see an increase in membership and party activity, he said a truly two-party system is healthy for the state and the nation.

"We haven't been a two-party state for 70 years. I think that competition among the political parties is good for the state and its citizens," Moore said. "It produces better candidates, which in turn benefits the constituents."

While the party has made significant inroads recently, much more work is needed to grow the party, said Jay Wolfe, who lost a bid in 2002 to unseat U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller. Although Wolfe lost the election, he carried several counties, including Doddridge.

"I think a candidate, as a Republican, needs to have an organization behind them to help, which is typically what we haven't had in the past," Wolfe said. "It will be a hard task, but I think we've got a lot of Republicans who are motivated."

The party has lofty goals, but many in leadership positions believe they are achievable goals. In 2004, the GOP wants to fill all 117 open ballot positions in the state House and Senate races, said Kris Warner, chair of the state Republican Executive Committee. Delegates serve two-year terms, with all seats open at the same time. Senators serve four-year terms, with half of the seats open every two years.

By 2008, the Republican Party wants to "take back the House and Senate," Warner said. GOP leaders are encouraged by their successes in 2002. Half of the contested races were won by Republicans, Warner said, and all incumbents retained their seats.

"I believe that in 2000 we started to see a historic shift in West Virginia politics. It started with President Bush and (U.S. Rep.) Shelley Moore Capito," Warner said. "In 2002, we knocked off the chair of the Senate Finance Committee and the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. If it can happen south of Route 60 in the coalfields, there's no reason it can't happen here in Harrison County."

Staff writer Jim Fisher can be reached at 626-1446 or by e-mail at jfisher@exponent-telegram.com


TOPICS: West Virginia; Parties; State and Local; U.S. Congress
KEYWORDS: 2004; bush; capito; election; wise; wolfe
This is a key Bush state in 2004, and a key state for GOP growth. We can take the senate seat when Byrd retires!!!
1 posted on 04/14/2003 8:57:53 PM PDT by JohnnyZ
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To: All

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2 posted on 04/14/2003 9:04:30 PM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: JohnnyZ
We couldn't even hold the Governorship, so '00 was a mixed bag. We actually were on track to political parity in the legislature in the early '70s until Watergate wiped out the gains, and we've never done as well since. They also should probably go to single-member districts in the state, too. Shelley Moore Capito might be a good candidate for the US Senate seat if and when Rockefeller or Byrd depart or buy the farm (and she's the first reelected Republican to a WV US House seat since her father, Arch, in 1966), but if she runs, the House seat will probably fall back into 'Rat hands.
3 posted on 04/15/2003 10:00:24 AM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (~Remember, it's not sporting to fire at RINO until charging~)
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To: fieldmarshaldj
Good news! Wish that ARk gop would achieve parity.
4 posted on 04/15/2003 12:20:25 PM PDT by CPT Clay
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To: CPT Clay
"Good news! Wish that ARk gop would achieve parity."

Well, they've done rather decently in closing the gap. There were almost no Republicans in the legislature in the 1970s, now they've gone to between 1/4th-1/3rd of the members. Still underrepresented, but far better than it once was. We're having to battle the problem over here in TN with a voting-majority GOP that receives a minority number of seats because of grotesque gerrymandering. We achieved parity as long ago as 1968 and the 'Rats have stomped on us ever since. To see KY, GA, & SC already having one or both legislative bodies majority GOP is remarkable. We might even take the MS Senate this year. AL, AR & LA will be tougher nuts to crack, but will eventually have to reach majority GOP legislative status at some point in the next 20 years as the realignment seeps down to the grassroots.

5 posted on 04/15/2003 12:45:24 PM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (~Remember, it's not sporting to fire at RINO until charging~)
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To: JohnnyZ
I fear Byrd will stay in the Senate until he dies.
6 posted on 04/20/2003 9:17:27 AM PDT by SMGFan
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To: SMGFan
How will we know when that is?
7 posted on 04/22/2003 7:29:29 AM PDT by VaFederalist
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To: JayWolfe; Twig; folklore; mountaineer; Xthe17th
"I think a candidate, as a Republican, needs to have an organization behind them to help, which is typically what we haven't had in the past," Wolfe said. "It will be a hard task, but I think we've got a lot of Republicans who are motivated."

Way to go, Jay!

Keep up the great work, my friends!

8 posted on 04/22/2003 5:43:36 PM PDT by EternalVigilance
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To: EternalVigilance
ET, the Harrison County Reps do no how to fight. You know that. They have no guts.
9 posted on 04/22/2003 7:20:20 PM PDT by folklore
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To: folklore
Time for new leadership, then.

I know for a fact that Jay, who is of course a Harrison County Republican, has been taking concrete steps to change things.

I saw some huge strides made there, and in a whole bunch of other counties...steps which give me hope for the future.
10 posted on 04/22/2003 7:25:11 PM PDT by EternalVigilance
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To: EternalVigilance
I am the down and dirty guy. I have things on people, oh, never mind.

I hope you are are well,bye the way (as we say in WV).

11 posted on 04/22/2003 7:39:41 PM PDT by folklore
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To: folklore
You too, my friend.

I'm looking at an opportunity to move my political operations to VA.

If this happens (I'm pretty sure it's going to), I'll be real close so as to offer some bit of help to my friends in WV as well.
12 posted on 04/22/2003 7:42:48 PM PDT by EternalVigilance
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To: EternalVigilance
I am glad that I met you. And as we say in WV, come back soon.
13 posted on 04/22/2003 7:58:36 PM PDT by folklore
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To: fieldmarshaldj
We couldn't even hold the Governorship, so '00 was a mixed bag.

I don't presume to know all of the reasons Underwood lost in '00, but do know - from covering some of Wise's campaign stops as a reporter - that it couldn't have hurt him (Wise) that he promised the sun, moon and stars to senior citizens wherever he went. By now, they all should have received all those free prescription drugs that were expressly or impliedly promised, but I doubt they'll remember that Wise failed to deliver, come 2004.

14 posted on 04/23/2003 6:54:06 AM PDT by mountaineer
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To: mountaineer; folklore; EternalVigilance
The recent 15% HIKE in Workmans Comp fees (Effective July 1st) are going to be the death knell for the 'Rats next year. Businesses are already making plans to leave the state. The Republicans have a better idea (I can't go into the details, but from what I've heard, businesses will be flocking INTO WV because if it) and when the 'Rats vote against it, they'll be history!

Just put a smile on your face, find a comfortable spot, and wait for the implosion...er, I mean, entertainment to begin.

15 posted on 04/23/2003 7:42:59 AM PDT by Xthe17th (FREE THE STATES. Repudiate the 17th amendment!)
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To: EternalVigilance
Jay Wolfe for Governor!!!!!!!
16 posted on 04/23/2003 8:24:16 AM PDT by Commodore Schmidlab
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To: Commodore Schmidlab
Jay would make an excellent Governor.

I spent 3 months working very closely with him, and I have met very few folks in my life with his level of executive ability.

He is also one of the most moral men I have ever met; which would be a shocking change in Charleston. ;-)
17 posted on 04/23/2003 9:53:51 AM PDT by EternalVigilance
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To: EternalVigilance; Xthe17th; All
WEST VIRGINIA REPUBLICAN STATE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Gary Abernathy

Tuesday, April 22, 2003
Kiss to announce candidacy
for state Supreme Court; Tomblin not far behind in getting while the getting’s good, says Warner

CHARLESTON, WV – House Speaker Bob Kiss will this week announce the formation of an exploratory committee for a state Supreme Court race, state GOP Chairman Kris Warner said today. Warner said Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin will not be far behind in announcing his intention not to seek another term in the Senate.

“The Speaker and the Senate President can see the writing on the wall regarding more anticipated GOP gains in the Legislature in the 2004 elections,” said Warner. “They’re going to cut their losses while they can.”

In 2002, Republicans picked up 11 seats in the House and Senate, including knocking off the Senate’s Finance and Judiciary chairmen. Linda Sumner became the first Republican Delegate elected in decades in the 27th District, and so many Republicans have already filed there for 2004 that the GOP will have contested primaries, thanks in large part to the efforts of Raleigh County Chairman Joe Long.

Democrats replaced Pat Maroney with Mike Callaghan as chairman, and prominent Democrat legislators have been privately telling associates they expect 2004 to be an even bigger year for Republican gains.

“We’re going to have strong Republican candidates in every race in 2004,” said Warner. “Plus, we’ll have the best candidates in all statewide races, including Supreme Court. If Bob Kiss thinks he’s protecting himself by running for the court, he’s in for another surprise.”

Warner said Democrats realize that voters are fed up with the power and arrogance of 70 years of one party rule, and are turning to Republicans who are offering sound solutions to the state’s economic woes.

-30-
18 posted on 04/23/2003 11:24:06 AM PDT by mountaineer
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To: mountaineer
Good stuff. Thanks!
19 posted on 04/23/2003 11:49:44 AM PDT by EternalVigilance
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To: EternalVigilance
I know you worked with him!
20 posted on 04/23/2003 11:55:41 AM PDT by Commodore Schmidlab
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To: Commodore Schmidlab
LOL...just read my email...now I know who you are! ;-)

If it weren't for you, my friend, I would have never had the opportunity to meet all of my wonderful friends in the Mountain State!
21 posted on 04/23/2003 12:19:32 PM PDT by EternalVigilance
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To: EternalVigilance
Looking forward to doing some work with you again - are you really moving your operation to VA? I think it's a smart move.
22 posted on 04/23/2003 12:56:04 PM PDT by Commodore Schmidlab
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To: mountaineer
From the WV Secretary of State website: http://www.wvsos.com/elections/candidates/precandidatesoffice.htm (in .pdf format - Adobe Acrobat viewer needed)

2004 Governor, Republicans: Robin C. Capehart (Wheeling, WV) & purported nutcase Henry Paul Kizer
Hmmmm, why don't I see Mr. Jay Wolfe's name listed yet!?

27th delegate district: yes, 6 Republicans listed. Very cool!

23 posted on 04/23/2003 2:12:28 PM PDT by Xthe17th (FREE THE STATES. Repudiate the 17th amendment!)
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To: mountaineer
"I don't presume to know all of the reasons Underwood lost in '00, but do know - from covering some of Wise's campaign stops as a reporter - that it couldn't have hurt him (Wise) that he promised the sun, moon and stars to senior citizens wherever he went. By now, they all should have received all those free prescription drugs that were expressly or impliedly promised, but I doubt they'll remember that Wise failed to deliver, come 2004."

I had strong concerns that he wasn't likely to win reelection in '00 namely because of how he won in '96. Had the 'Rats not put up a lunatic like Charlotte Pritt as the Gubernatorial nominee, Underwood never would have won (I believe even Gaston Caperton cast his vote for Underwood). Underwood was a nice man and ran a fairly clean outfit, but I'm not sure he ever projected that he was aggressively leading the state and bringing in the jobs (not to say he wasn't, since he was, just that how it was perceived after the 'Rat attacks). The question is whether we have anyone that could take down Wise next year (because no matter his failures to deliver on his promises, a 'Rat is always going to have an advantage in that state, sad to say). It's hard to ignore the fact that the only two Republicans of any conceivable stature (especially ones who can raise serious money) who have won since '56 are Underwood and Arch Moore, and neither one is going to be running next year (although Arch's daughter has potential, I think we should hold Shelley in reserve until Byrd buys the farm).

24 posted on 04/23/2003 7:51:54 PM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (~Remember, it's not sporting to fire at RINO until charging~)
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