The November race is set for West Virginia House of Delegates District 32. 

Incumbent Republicans Kayla Kessinger and Tom Fast will be joined Austin Haynes to face Democrats Margaret Anne Staggers, Luke Lively and Melvin “Mel” Kessler in the general election.

In 2016, Kessinger and Fast finished one-two in the general election, with Democrat Shirley Love coming in third.

Love gave up his seat to run for the 3rd Congressional District seat. He was defeated in the Democratic primary by State Senator Richard Ojeda.

For Lively, the second-place finish is sweet as he finished fourth in the 2016 Democratic primary and eliminated from the Democratic ticket.

“I would have like to have led the ticket but I didn’t,” Lively said. “But I’m glad to be here in the position and ready for the fall.”

While it would be easy to think that the position to fill would be Love’s vacated seat, Lively said he believes there are vulnerabilities in the Republican ticket.

“I think it’s one in the same,” Lively said. “You’ve got to run your own campaign.”

For the Democratic candidate, that campaign will begin in earnest in July when he said he would begin really knocking on doors and spreading his campaign.

Lively is particularly interested in the last bit of precincts reports which swayed the ticket leader position over to Staggers.

“I was leading the polls up until the last five precincts came in, but we don’t know where those are,” Lively said.

Official precinct totals aren’t available until after the vote canvassing process.

Though leading the Democratic ticket in 2016, Staggers finished fourth in the 2016 general election, while the Republican Haynes finished sixth in the 2016 general election.

On the Democratic side: Staggers received 3,309 votes, Lively 3,051 votes, Kessler 2,586 votes and Selina Vickers finished out of the running with 2,535 votes.

For the Republicans: Kessinger received 1,864 votes, Fast received 1,859 votes and Haynes received 1,506 votes.

-- Email:; follow on Twitter @mattcombsRH

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