EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSState Auditor Glen Gainer Announces Bid For Congress
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Associated Press
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Nov. 8, 2013 9:05 AM EST
Updated: Nov. 8, 2013 3:46 PM EST
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
West Virginia Auditor Glen Gainer said he is running for Congress.
Gainer announced his intentions on Friday to challenge incumbent Republican David McKinley in the 1st District race in 2014. McKinley has held the seat representing the Northern Panhandle since 2011.
Gainer was first elected as West Virginia's auditor in 1992. He succeeded his father, who had held the position since 1977. The Parkersburg native earned a bachelor's degree from The University of Charleston in 1982.
As the state's official bookkeeper, the auditor's office reviews the finances of both state and local governments, among other duties.
Last year, McKinley was re-elected to the seat, defeating Democrat Sue Thorn, a former community organizer. He is the first Republican to represent the district since 1969.
The district includes Parkersburg, Morgantown, Wheeling, Fairmont and Clarksburg.
West Virginia Democratic Chairman Larry Puccio said support in the party for a run by Gainer intensified during the government shutdown.
"Auditor Gainer has always shown responsible leadership, by streamlining payroll, inventory and purchasing for the entire state government, Gainer’s priorities have saved millions of tax payer dollars," Puccio said.
West Virginia Republicans were quick to try to frame the race around President Barack Obama, who has seen low approval ratings in the state.
"Congressman David McKinley has worked tirelessly to stand up for West Virginia families, fought against Obama's War on Coal and Obamacare," the party said in a statement. "Since his first election in 2010, Congressman McKinley has emerged as one of our nation's leading advocates for domestic energy."
Kyle Kondik, managing editor of Sabato's Crystal Ball, a nonpartisan newsletter analyzing electoral outcomes, upgraded the publication's assessment of the race from "Safe Republican" to "Likely Republican."
The Associated Press contributed to this report
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