By Mannix Porterfield
Nick Casey, onetime chairman of the Democratic Party in West Virginia and a longtime attorney, formally announced his bid for Congress in the sprawling 2nd District Tuesday in what looms as a crowded race.
Now in her seventh term, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., opened what could potentially be the floodgates when she announced her plan last November to run for the U.S. Senate.
Soon afterward, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., who won the Senate seat in 1984, said he would retire when his current term ends.
“We have too much gridlock and partisanship in Washington,” said Casey, who chaired the Democratic Party in the state between 2004 and 2010, before yielding the role to Larry Puccio.
Casey became the first to file candidacy papers this month with the Federal Elections Commission, but there certainly is other interest in succeeding Capito.
Steve Harrison, a former state senator who represented Kanawha County, has formed an exploratory committee, preparatory to filing his papers.
And others have been mentioned as possibilities, among them Delegate Patrick Lane, R-Kanawha.
“Our state and nation have critical infrastructure needs, lacks a clear energy policy and our people need jobs,” Casey told reporters at his news conference in the governor’s reception office.
“I am running for Congress to represent the good people of West Virginia and help address their needs.”
A certified public accountant and lobbyist at the Legislature, the candidate is the managing partner of the law firm of Lewis, Glasser, Casey & Rollins.
Casey is treasurer-elect of the American Bar Association and an active volunteer with Catholic Charities of West Virginia. Casey lives in Charleston with his wife of 37 years, Mary Frances, and the couple has two children, Erin and Anthony.
The 59-year-old Casey said he would announce his campaign team in a few days.
“I’m running for Congress to be a problem-solver,” he said.
“West Virginians want their leaders to get past the gridlock and partisanship and to get things done. I pledge to you that I will work across the aisle and sit down with all sides on every issue. This campaign has a broad coalition of supporters who will help me do just that.”
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