A former Republican in the West Virginia House of Delegates announced Tuesday he will try to best U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., in the race for the U.S. Senate seat to be vacated by retiring U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.
Pat McGeehan announced via Twitter and a radio show in Huntington Tuesday morning he wants to run for Senate. He included a short statement with the tweet.
— Pat McGeehan (@McGeehan4WV) April 9, 2013
McGeehan made no mention of Capito–seemingly the favorite in the race at this point–in his statement. However, he seemingly tried to show his stance as the more conservative option to the longtime congresswoman:
“I think West Virginians deserve a candidate that will truly represent their views. I am a pro-life, pro-gun, pro-coal conservative that believes government today is too overreaching. That is why I am running for U.S. Senate in West Virginia.”
Capito announced her intention to run for Senate in late 2012. Almost immediately thereafter there were a few questions about her conservative merits, but concerns may have been alleviated in part by her invitation to speak to the very conservative Conservative Political Action Conference.
McGeehan served one term in the House, representing Hancock County and part of Brooke County in the Northern Panhandle. He replaced outgoing Democrat and House Majority Leader Joe DeLong, who now serves as executive director of the West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority.
McGeehan spent more than $50,000 in his bid for the House, more than the average race, according to Daily Mail archives.
The Associated Press reported:
McGeehan served one term in the House, and then lost his bid for the Senate in 2010 in the Republican primary. The winner of that contest, Charles Schlegel, then lost to Orphy Klempa in the General Election.
In the 2012 election McGeehan did receive the GOP bid (he was unopposed in the primary) to challenge state Senator Jack Yost, D-Brooke. McGeehan lost by about 6,00o votes, and was outspent $32,070 to $13,744, according to the AP.
McGeehan graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy, serving in Afghanistan and “the Middle East,” according to his news release. Little other information is available on his website; it says he’s a native West Virginian who currently lives in Chester and provides an avenue to donate to the campaign.
No Democrats have officially announced plans to challenge for the Senate seat. Charleston attorney Nick Preservati confirmed he’s thinking about running. Other names considered as potential candidates include Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, Supreme Court Justice Robin Davis, former state party chairman Mike Callaghan and attorney Ralph Baxter.