Ralph Baxter to announce run for Congress seat in West Virginia


The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING, W.Va.  — Attorney and businessman Ralph Baxter is expected to announce his run for Congress next week in Wheeling.

Ralph Baxter
 A release sent out by the “Ralph Baxter for Congress” campaign states Baxter, a Democrat, is set to make his announcement at noon Tuesday in front of the Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe Operations Center at 2121 Main St., Wheeling.

Baxter is the former chairman and CEO of the global law firm, and he orchestrated the move that brought the operations center to Wheeling in 2002 from San Francisco.

An Ohio County native, Baxter currently makes his home in Wheeling.

He already has filed with the Federal Elections Commission to raise money in the race for West Virginia’s 1st District congressional seat on the Democratic ticket. Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., already has announced he will seek re-election in 2018.

Baxter’s statement of candidacy was submitted to the elections commission on Aug. 31, and designates the “Ralph Baxter for Congress” committee as his principal committee for the 2018 election.

Despite the filing with the commission, Baxter has yet to confirm he will enter the race in 2018. Baxter said Thursday he was required under federal law to make the filing.

According to information provided by the elections commission, an individual running for federal office must register and file financial reports when he or she raises or spends more than $5,000 in contributions or expenditures. And Baxter said he has crossed that threshold.

“What this means is I ended up incurring enough costs to trigger the FEC requirements,”Baxter said. “When running for Congress, there are limits to what you can spend, or how much can be contributed to campaign before you are required to submit a filing. I’m a law-abiding citizen. When in doubt, it’s best to file.”

A local reception for Baxter has been organized and set for 5:30-8 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Moundsville Veterans of Foreign Wars post.

Baxter received his law degree from the University of Virginia in 1974, his master’s degree in education from the Catholic University of America in 1970 and a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University in 1968.

He served as CEO of Orrick for 23 years, and first joined the law firm in 1974. Prior to becoming an attorney, he was a sixth-grade teacher in Washington, D.C.

Since retiring from Orrick in 2014, Baxter has served as chairman of the advisory board of the Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute; a member on the board of directors for Lex Machina; a senior advisor to the Stanford Law School Center on the Legal Profession; a member of the board of advisors for both the Harvard Law School Center on the Legal Profession and the Georgetown Law Center for the Study of the Legal Profession; and as a writer and speaker on the legal profession.

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