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Democrats raise more for W.Va. House races

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — In the battle of money, Democrats have a significant advantage over Republicans for the time being when it comes to maintaining their slim majority in the West Virginia House of Delegates.

While the GOP argues that simply looking at financial figures months before the General Election offers an incomplete picture of the House political landscape, they don’t deny Democrats have amassed a sizable war chest already.

“They’ve gone full blast,” said Delegate Eric Nelson, R-Kanawha, who runs the GOP committee collecting funds for House races.

Democrats drummed up almost 19 times more in contributions for their House Legislative Committee than Republicans could muster for the West Virginia Republican Legislative Committee in the last year. Both are the respective caucus committees for the parties, representing funding mechanisms for candidates running for House seats.

In the last year, Republicans added $12,000 to the $10,600 already in committee coffers, according to documents filed with the Secretary of State. The committee spent almost $15,000 in the year, leaving it with about $8,000 for now.

Democrats shattered those numbers, raising nearly $230,000 in the same time period. They still have $160,000 in the bank even after spending $67,000 in the past year.

In the past, Democrats didn’t focus solely on House races, said committee spokesman Delegate Stephen Skinner. The Jefferson County Democrat and others decided that needed to change after the 2012 election, when the GOP picked up 11 seats to give them a total of 46 in the 100 member House.

With the subsequent party flip of Delegate Ryan Ferns, R-Ohio, the GOP is the closest its been to the majority in nearly a century…

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