Candidates busy making pitches to voters

October 21, 2018 GMT

As the 2018 campaign draws to a close, candidates are making every effort to make appearances all across their districts. Sometimes I wonder if citizens would like to keep politicians in more campaign modes so they could see them more. Probably not.

Republican 3rd District House candidate Carol Miller will host a meet-and-greet from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Logan Country Club in Chapmanville.

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, the Democratic candidate seeking re-election, will visit with members of the Mingo County Democratic Executive Committee and others on Monday, Oct. 29, at the former Cinderella Theatre in Williamson. The event kicks off with a special committee meeting at 5 p.m. Building owner Sam Kapourales, former Williamson mayor, has given permission for a pig roast to be held with music provided by a bluegrass band.

Former State Sen. H. Truman Chafin is the county chair.

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Speaking of Chafin reminds me that almost everyone I see these days wants predictions as to how things will go Nov. 6. My best guess is that Republicans will add two or three to their state House majority while Democrats pick up two in the state Senate. That would still leave the Republicans in charge overall, of course.

The reason Chafin comes to mind when this question is asked is that neither I nor anyone I know would have predicted Chafin’s loss in the Republican landslide four years ago. All evening then, we were hearing reports from various parts of the state that incumbent Democrats were losing legislative seats. Chafin fell victim to Republican Mark Maynard after the Williamson attorney had served in the Senate for more than 30 years.

Thus, it is impossible to predict these outcomes without the requisite crystal ball.

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Nate Silver, the national political statistical guru, is thought by many to have that crystal ball. We have been following his predictions on the 3rd Congressional District this season and things have not changed much.

Despite campaign ads in which Democrat State Sen. Richard Ojeda says he is “leading in the polls,” Silver has Republican Del. Carol Miller favored in the congressional race, 87.5 to 12.5 percent. He says if the election was held today, Miller would win, 55-45 percent.

Ojeda, as everyone knows by now, only takes “friendly” questions from the media, but it would be interesting to know what polls have him leading the race. I have only seen one and it was a highly-questionable “e-poll.”

Perhaps the next time a “friendly” reporter approaches him, he or she can ask what “polls” the senator is referring to.

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I had a nice conversation with Dana Ferrell, who is running as an independent in Delegate District 39 (Sissonville). Ferrell was recruited by several Republicans after they were left only with Sharon Malcomb as their candidate. The 39th is the district where Ron Walters resigned and Malcomb was appointed by Gov. Jim Justice. Mountain Party candidate Jesse Johnson and Democrat David Holmes are also in the field. This will be a close race to watch.

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Impressive, too, is Melissa Riggs Huffman, the candidate in the 40th House District. Huffman is a Democrat taking on Del. Dean Jeffries, who was appointed to replace former Speaker Tim Armstead. Huffman ran against Armstead earlier and said they ran a ’friendly” campaign. “Tim is a good guy,” she said.

Both Ferrell and Huffman are school teachers although each mentioned several legislative areas of interest outside of education.

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We may as well concede that Democrat U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin won re-election when he voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh as Supreme Court justice. For all the GOP insistence that Manchin is a roadblock to President Trump’s legislative agenda, Manchin makes it look otherwise with high-profile votes like the one on Kavanaugh.

The rumor I hear is that, while there is no doubt Trump still favors Republican Patrick Morrisey for the Senate seat, he will not make yet another trip to West Virginia to campaign for the attorney general. Rumors were that the president would come to the southern coalfields, where he is virtually worshiped among the electorate.

Contact Ron Gregory at 304-533-5185 or ronjgregory@gmail.com.