2 U.S. House primary election races crowded in West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — 13 candidates are running for office in West Virginia’s two congressional districts after the state lost a seat in the U.S. House due to population losses over the past decade.

The Secretary of State’s office has certified the list of candidates for the May 10 primary.

The districts of incumbent Republican Reps. David McKinley and Alex Mooney were merged starting in this election cycle. Both are running in the new 2nd District and will be joined in the GOP primary by Susan Buchser-Lochocki of Morgantown, Rhonda Hercules of Wheeling and Mike Seckman of West Union. The Democratic primary will pit Angela Dwyer of Martinsburg against Barry Lee Wendell of Morgantown.

In the 1st District, incumbent Carol Miller faces Republican challengers Scott Fuller of Kenova, James Edwin Houser of Mount Nebo, Zane Lawhorn of Princeton and Kent Stevens of Milton. Lacy Watson of Bluefield is unopposed in the Democratic primary. Watson lost in the 2020 Democratic primary in the former 3rd District.

McKinley is seeking his seventh term and Mooney his fifth. Miller is seeking her third term.

Early voting in West Virginia begins April 27. The deadline to register to vote is April 19.

Half of the 34-member Senate and the entire 100-member House of Delegates are up for election. Lawmakers approved redistricting maps in October.

House seats were apportioned into single-member districts after passage of a 2018 bill. Previously there were 67 districts and more than half of the House was elected from multiple-member districts.

Republicans hold a 23-11 supermajority in the Senate and 78-22 in the House.

Three Democratic senators are not seeking re-election: Mike Romano of Harrison County, Bob Beach of Monongalia County and Hannah Geffert of Berkeley County.

Former Senate Democrat Mike Oliverio plans to seek office again, this time as a Republican. Also running for the 13th District seat is fellow Morgantown resident Barbara Evans Fleischauer, a longtime Democrat in the House. Both will have primary opposition.

Ex-U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart is running in the Republican primary for a Senate seat held by Democrat Ron Stollings. Also among those seeking state Senate seats are delegates Ben Queen of Harrison County and Mick Bates of Raleigh County and former Delegate Josh Higginbotham of Kanawha County.

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