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Groups pour cash into West Virginia First District Senate contest

By MATT SAXTON

The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING, W.Va.  — While candidates for West Virginia’s First Senatorial District seat mostly have talked about what they bring to the table, advocacy groups have been trying to get the message out about what each might take away.

Recent materials mailed out by two opposing political action committees have taken jabs at Republican Sen. Ryan Ferns and his Democrat challenger, William Ihlenfeld. The candidates themselves will square off at 6:30 p.m. tonight at West Virginia Northern Community College’s B&O Building, 1704 Market St., Wheeling, for their second debate this week. Tonight’s debate is open to the public and sponsored by The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register.

The group opposing Ferns has been funded primarily by organized labor unions, while the other criticizing Ihlenfeld has been funded primarily by big business, according to filings in the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office.

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