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Some West Virginia voters might get a touch of déjà vu when they enter the voting booth next year.
Former state Senator and Congressional hopeful Mike Oliverio (D) declared his candidacy for the Mountain State’s 1st district today, setting up a rematch with freshman Rep. David McKinley (R). In one of the closest races of the cycle, McKinley bested Oliverio 50.4 percent to 49.6 percent in 2010.
“West Virginians deserve a Congressman who understands what hard working families are going through and wants to put people ahead of the special interests and their own personal gain,” Oliverio said in a statement. “That is what I have done throughout my entire career and that is what I will continue to do if the people of West Virginia put their trust in me next November.”
President Barack Obama took only 42 percent of the vote in the 1st district in 2008 and appears likely to garner less in 2012 — that will mean Oliverio will have to substantially run ahead of the top of the ticket if he wants to unseat McKinley. A Gallup poll taken over the course of the first half of 2011 put Obama’s approval in West Virginia at 33 percent, making it one of the states with the dimmest view of the president.
McKinley had $737,000 in cash on hand at the end of June.
West Virginia recently completed its Congressional redistricting process. The new map leaves the 1st district identical for the next 10 years.
“Mike Oliverio is just more of the same: a career politician who voted to raise his own pay and supports President Obama's job-killing policies,” McKinley Chief of Staff Andy Seré said in a statement. “After running for higher office three times in the last decade and losing each race, Oliverio should realize by now that West Virginians know he is undeserving of a promotion.”