Democrats in D.C. and West Virginia scored a big name candidate to run for retiring Senator Jay Rockefeller's (D. WV) seat today:
And Senator Rockefeller officially endorsed her candidacy:Democrats have their recruit in the West Virginia Senate race, as Secretary of State Natalie Tennant officially launched her campaign Tuesday.
Tennant also launched a bare-bones Web site that allows supports to contribute to her campaign.
Post Politics reported Friday that Tennant was set to enter the race, for which she remained the Democrats' last big-name recruit. - Washington Post, 9/17/13
Tennant not only launched, she immediately started swinging at her opponent Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R. WV):"I firmly believe that the next leader in the United States Senate is Natalie Tennant," Rockefeller said. "She is a West Virginian through and through. She has an unwavering commitment to public service and, most importantly, a ceaseless passion for the people of West Virginia and our challenges."
Tennant of course distanced herself when it came to energy jobs but glad to see Tennant kick off her campaign by pointing out Capito's support for privatizing earned benefits like Medicare and Social Security. Capito voted for the Paul Ryan Budget which turns Medicare into a voucher program. Of course that hasn't stopped her from praising Medicare after voting to dismantle it:In a statement provided to HuffPost, Rockefeller said he "firmly believes" Tennant should replace him, and he slammed Republicans for working against West Virginians.
"Republicans have offered West Virginia no solutions to the problems we face, and instead take action against us again and again -- voting to block mine safety reforms in the wake of the UBB tragedy, pushing to privatize Medicare and Social Security, and protecting their political friends on Wall Street at the expense of West Virginians," Rockefeller said. "Our people cannot afford to let this Senate seat fall in the hands of the party of Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. We have too much at stake and too much to lose."
Tennant also hit Republicans during her announcement, criticizing her potential rival because she "supports privatizing Social Security and turning Medicare into a voucher program."
"There's no way around it. Congresswoman Capito has been part of the problem in a broken Congress for the last 13 years," Tennant said.
Ahead of Tennant's Tuesday event, Capito's campaign slammed the Secretary of State as a "liberal" who supports "President Obama's entire extreme agenda." - Huffington Post, 9/17/13
I am certainly excited about Tennant's campaign and she can make this a serious race and hopefully hold onto this seat for Team Blue. West Virginia Democrats have great faith in her candidacy and are riled up:
If we're going to beat Capito, we need to help fuel Tennant's campaign early. Please do sign up and donate to her campaign:State Democratic Party Chairman Larry Puccio applauded Tennant’s decision, claiming support has been building for several months.
“Anytime you have that kind of a push and a groundswell, it tells me it is the right thing,” said Puccio. “The overwhelming support has got her understanding that she is right person.”
Many Democrats passed on a U.S. Senate campaign that would pit them against Republican Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito (WV-2) in the 2014 general election. Capito announced her U.S. Senate intentions last year.
She is vying to replace U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, who said he won’t be seeking re-election.
Tennant, 45, is a Marion County native in her second term as West Virginia’s Secretary of State. She was first elected in 2008. Prior to that, Tennant worked in television news at WBOY-TV in Clarksburg and WCHS-TV in Charleston and she is a former Mountaineer mascot for West Virginia University.
On Monday’s MetroNews “Talkline,” Puccio said Tennant looked for her support in the Mountain State, not in Washington, D.C.
“Natalie is a hometown girl and she spent her time in West Virginia talking to people and doing her due diligence and all that,” he said.
“I always believed she was an individual that could do very, very well.” - West Virginia Metro News, 9/16/13