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Faircloth files papers to run for W.Va. governor

January 24, 2004|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Del. Larry Faircloth filed papers in Charleston, W.Va., on Friday to run for governor.

Faircloth, R-Berkeley, is joined by eight others seeking the seat.

Democratic Gov. Bob Wise announced in August that he is not seeking re-election. Faircloth said Friday that he was considering running before then, but not having the incumbent in the race will improve his chances.

For the last four or five years, Faircloth has intended to run for governor "if the right opportunity presented itself," he said.

That situation is a crowded field of candidates, which is the case this year.

Faircloth said that having about half of the Republican field come from Kanawha County could split the vote and give him "a fair chance" to win his party's nomination.

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The deadline to file for state office is Jan. 31. As of Friday, Secretary of State Joe Manchin III, considered a front-runner for the Democratic nomination, had not filed. Manchin already has declared himself a candidate.

Of the nine candidates who have filed for governor, six are Republicans, two are Democrats and one is a Libertarian.

The primary election will be May 11. The general election will be Nov. 2.

Faircloth announced his plan to run for governor during the Berkeley County Republican Club's Dwight D. Eisenhower Dinner in October.

He said Friday that he anticipates about a half-dozen key issues in the campaign, particularly workers' compensation and economic growth.

Although the Eastern Panhandle's population has boomed, the overall state population is roughly the same now as it was 20 years ago, he said. The state needs to do more to expand its tax base and create jobs, which would help convince students to stay in West Virginia after they graduate, he said.

Faircloth has said he will not run for re-election to represent the 57th district in the Legislature.

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