Republican businessman John Raese has filed to challenge Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) in a rematch of one of the most closely watched Senate races of the 2010 cycle.
In the race to finish out the late Sen. Robert Byrd’s (D) term, Manchin beat Raese by a 10-point margin. Manchin is running for re-election this year and is seeking his first full six-year term in the Senate.
Manchin’s 2010 margin was larger than many expectations. Manchin successfully distanced himself from President Barack Obama and positioned himself as a conservative Democrat in one of the worst cycles for Democrats in modern politics.
“Just 14 months after West Virginia voters soundly rejected his out-of-touch agenda that would devastate our families, Raese is again going to try to buy our votes, even though he thinks we're a bunch of hicks,” West Virginia Democratic Chairman Larry Puccio said in a statement.
Earlier in the fall and prior to the Raese news, national Republicans were not optimistic about their chances of recruiting a viable candidate in West Virginia this cycle. Manchin had $1.6 million in cash on hand at the end of the third quarter.
This is Raese’s fifth attempt at winning statewide office in West Virginia.
Roll Call currently rates the West Virginia race as Safe Democratic.