This year, West Virginia will hold regularly scheduled elections for all 100 seats in the House of Delegates and 17 seats in the Senate, plus a special election for a seat in the Senate. Republicans control majorities in both chambers, which they won in the 2014 general election, ending continuous Democratic control of the Legislature since 1931.
West Virginia’s candidate filing period for the 2016 elections ended January 30. Here are some key statistics regarding the candidate filings and their impacts on the elections in the House and Senate.
- Twenty-four delegates and four senators will not return to their respective chambers in 2017, resulting in significant turnover.
- Of the 24 delegates not returning in 2017, seven delegates – Ryan Weld (R), Mike Azinger (R), David Perry (D), Chris Stansbury (R), Denise Campbell (D), Randy Smith (R) and Stephen Skinner (D) – are running for seats in the Senate. In addition, Delegate Doug Reynolds (D) is running for attorney general.
- Of the four senators departing this year, Senate President Bill Cole (R) and Senate Minority Leader Jeffrey Kessler (D) are running for governor.
- House Republicans have effectively secured seven seats in the general election because of no Democratic opposition. Three of these seven seats are held by incumbents – Allen Evans (R), Gary Howell (R) and Daryl Cowles (R) – who do not have Republican challengers in the primary election.
- Every seat in the Senate up for election has at least one Democratic and Republican candidate.