Secretary of State race long on candidates, short on fundraising

By Stephen Baldwin, RealWV

The list of candidates running for Secretary of State in the Republican primary is long, but few of the candidates have worked to raise funds thus far. 

Chris Pritt, a lawyer and delegate from Kanawha County, raised $14,000 this quarter in addition to the $8,000 he raised previously. After spending a little less than $1,000, he has $21,000 remaining in his campaign account. 

Major donors include Delegate Todd Longanacre, Ben Beakes (lobbyist), and Brian Hodgdon (an executive with CDK Global, a data management company from Texas). 

Brian Wood, the County Clerk in Putnam County for the last 18 years, raised $6,000 this quarter in addition to the $26,000 he raised previously. After spending a little less than $1,000, he has $31,000 remaining in his campaign account. 

Major donors include State Senator Eric Tarr, Rob Cunningham (WV Department of Homeland Security Deputy Secretary), & Michael Wilson (WVU Health). 

Wood has loaned himself $30,000 so far in the race. 

Steven Harris, a first responder from Buckhannon, raised $0 this quarter in addition to the $400 he raised previously (from a self-contribution). He had no expenses. 

Kenny Mann, a former State Senator and mortician from Monroe County, filed a financial report showing no donations or expenses and a $0 account balance. 

Wesley Self, of Gilmer County, also shows no financial activity. 

The newest entrant into the race is Doug Skaff, former delegate and minority leader of the House of Delegates. He resigned his House of Delegates seat this fall, switch parties, and now is officially a precandidate for Secretary of State. He has not raised or spent any funds yet, but they filing period ended only days after he announced his intentions. In past races, he has been a prolific fundraiser. 

No Democrats or Independents have filed to run for Secretary of State.

The race to be the state’s chief election officer is wide open six months before the primary. Stay tuned to RealWV for further campaign finance updates on this and other state offices.

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