Gregory’s Web for November 1, 2020
by Ron Gregory
This is your time to dazzle your friends, impress your co-workers and amaze your family. That’s because I, a political genius if ever there was one, am now prepared to enlighten you as to who will be winning this election day, November 3.
You can attempt to memorize the list or hide a copy up your shirt sleeve. Simply repeat it to whichever audiences you wish to impress and wait for the election night accolades.
You, too, can be proclaimed a top election prognosticator.
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Here we go. President Trump will easily win West Virginia. Meanwhile, he will be re-elected nationwide by a large electoral vote margin.
For U.S. Senate, Republican incumbent Shelley Moore Capito will win in a landslide. The three GOP House of Representatives members — David McKinley, Alex Mooney.and Carol Miller — will win easily.
Incumbent Republican Governor Jim Justice keeps the GOP double-digit night going over Democrat. Ben Salango, the Mountain Party’s Danny Lutz and Libertarian Erika Kolenich.
They came close the last time. This time I’m predicting a GOP sweep of the board of public works. Incumbent Secretary of State Mac Warner will defeat former Secretary Natalie Tennant. Auditor J.B. McCuskey will.handily win re-election as will Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.
Republican Riley Moore will retire longtime Treasurer John Perdue and Kent Leonhardt will.hold the Agriculture Commissioner spot for the GOP.
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In State Senate District One, Democrat Randy Swartzmiller will be successful in turning in his House keys for those of the Senate by defeating Republican incumbent Ryan Weld.
In Senate Two, warts and all, Republican Mike Maroney will prevail over Democrat Josh Gary. In Three, iconic Republican Senator Donna Boley will win over Democrat Robin Wilson and Libertarian.Travis Shultz.
Giant slayer Amy Grady will hold Four for the GOP against Democrat Bruce Ashworth and Libertarian Loyd Butcher.
Unfortunately, incumbent Bob Plymale, the Democrat, will defeat Republican Chad Shaffer in District Five. In Six, Republican Chandler Swope is unopposed.
Republican former legislator Rupie Phillips wiill win in Seven over Delegate Ralph Rodighiero, a Trump Democrat. In Eight, incumbent Democrat Glenn Jeffries will handle Republican Kathie Crouse.
In District Nine, Republican David Stover has no opponent. I think Democrat William.Laird will win in Ten. I pick Democrat Denise Campbell over the GOP’s Robert Karnes in 11. In 12, I think.Republican Delegate Patrick Martin will take the seat from Democrat Doug Facemire.
Sadly, Democrat Delegate Mike Caputo will win in 13. Republican Randy Smith will hold onto 14.
Republican Craig Blair, in line to be Senate President, will carry 15. Incumbent Republican Patricia Rucker keeps 16. And in one of the most costly races in history, Democrat Andrew Robinson will defeat Republicamin Delegate Eric Nelson in 17.
Thus, when a new Senate convenes in January, there will be 21 Republicans and 13 Democrats.
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On to the House …
The First District now has Republican Pat McGheehan and Democrat Swartzmiller, who is moving to the senate. McGheehan will be joined by former Republican Delegate Mark Zatezalo for a GOP pick-up here.
Incumbent Democrat Phil Diserio will hold District Two. Incumbent Democrat Shawn Fluharty and Republican Erikka Storch keep District Three.
In Four, Democrat Joe Canestraro is leaving to become prosecutor. Incumbent Democrat Lisa Zukoff and Dem Christian Turok will hold for their party. In District Five, incumbent Democrat Dave Pethtel will be re-elected.
Republican David Kelly will keep District Six. Republican Trenton Barnhart is unopposed in Seven. Incumbent Republican Bill Anderson is an easy winner in District Eight.
In District Nine, appointed incumbent Republican Chuck Little lost to Shannon Kimes. He will keep the seat GOP. In Ten, Republican Tom Azinger is retiring. Roger Conley will hold that GOP spot along with the two Republican incumbents, John Kelly and Vernon Criss.
Incumbent Republican Rick Atkinson lost to Riley Keaton in the primary. But he’ll keep the seat red in 11. Incumbent Republican Steve Westfall is unopposed in District 12.
In District 13, GOP incumbent Scott Cadle lost in the primary, leading to a Democrat gain with former Delegate Scott Brewer. Incumbent Republican Joshua Higginbotham will hold onto the other seat.
Incumbent Republican Jim Butler ran for a senate seat, leaving a GOP vacancy in 14. Republican Johnnie Wamsley will hold that one.
Incumbent Republican Geoff Foster will hold onto District 15. In 16, the premature resignation of Republican John Mandt Jr. has thrown the outcome in doubt. I believe Republican incumbent Daniel Linville, incumbent Democrat Sean Hornbuckle and Republican newcomer Mark Bates will keep the seats divided between two Reps and a Democrat.
Democrat incumbent Chad Lovejoy and Republican Matthew Rohrbach will have an easy time in District 17. Ditto for incumbent Republican Evan Worrell in 18.
District 19 is unique in that both Democrat incumbents, Ken Hicks and Robert Thompson, are stepping down. That opens the door for Republican Derrick Evans and Democrat David Thompson as winners. Democrat incumbent Nathan Brown is a huge favorite in 20. Incumbent Republican Mark Dean is favored over former Delegate Phyllis White in the 21st District.
Incumbent Republican Zack Maynard will lead the ticket in 22. Former Democrat Delegate Jeff Eldridge will edge out incumbent Republican Joe Jeffries for the second position. In 23, incumbent Democrat Rodney Miller will survive a Republican night.
Democrat Tim Tomblin keeps his chair in 24 and will be joined by Dem Susan Perry. In the 25th, incumbent Republican Tony Paynter is unopposed. Incumbent Democrat Ed Evans is the favorite in 26.
Republicans dumped their Eric Porterfield baggage in the primary giving them a shot at holding the three seats in 27. Incumbent GOPer John Shott is retiring as well. But I think the three Republicans on the ticket will hold the seats: incumbent Joe Ellington, former legislator Marty Gearheart and newcomer Doug Smith. The battle is for third place with Democrat Tina Russell, who would have won if Republicans had nominated Porterfield.
Incumbent Republican Roy Cooper and appointed incumbent GOP Jeffrey Pack are favored in 28. Incumbent Republican Brandon Steele will hold District 29. Incumbent Democrat Mick Bates will keep 30.
In 31, incumbent Republican Christopher Toney is unopposed. The incumbents — Republicans Tom Fast and Kayla Kessinger and Democrat Margaret Staggers — return in the 32d. Incumbent Republican Speaker Roger Hanshaw is a sure winner in 33.
Incumbent Democrat Brent Boggs should hold 34.
Incumbent Democrat Andrew Byrd is retiring in the 35th and incumbent Republican Eric Nelson is running for the senate. Incumbent Democrat Doug Skaff and incumbent Republican Moore Capito are definite winners. They will be joined by Republicans Larry Pack and Chris Stansbury.
In the 36th, Democrat Andrew Robinson is leaving for his senate race with Nelson. Incumbent Democrats Larry Rowe and Amanda Estep-Burton are easy winners. They will be joined by former Republican state senator Chris Walters.
Democrat Mike Pushkin is unopposed in the 37th. Republican Diana Graves will hold her seat in 38. Appointed Republican Kevan Bartlett lost the primary (and has been hospitalized with Covid-19) in 39. The winner, Dana Ferrell, will keep the GOP spot. Incumbent Republican Dean Jeffries is unopposed in 40.
Incumbent Republican Heather Tully is favored in the 41st. In 42, incumbent Democrats Cindy Lavender-Bowe and Jeff Campbell will hold their posts. Likewise for Dem incumbents Cindy Thompson and Bill Hartman in the 43d.
Incumbent Republican Caleb Hanna will keep District 44. Republican Carl Martin is unopposed in the 45th. Republican Patrick Martin is running for the senate. Democrat Bob Stultz could win this one in 46. Incumbent Republican Chris Phillips is favored in District 47.
In 48, Democrat Minority Leader Tim Miley is retiring. Incumbent Republicans Ben Queen and Danny Hamrick should win despite minor baggage. The GOP’s Clay Riley will join them along with former Democrat legislator Richard Iaquinta. Incumbent Republican Amy Summers keeps District 49.
Democrat Mike Caputo is leaving to run for the senate but the 50th will stay solidly Democrat. Incumbents Linda Longstreth and Michael Angelucci will be joined by Ronald Straight.
District 51 is now all-Democrat. Republican former Delegate Cindy Frich will join Dem incumbents Eric Hansen, John Williams, Barbara Fleischauer and Rodney Pyles in the winners’ circle this time.
Incumbent Republican Terri Sypolt will salvage the 52d after a tough primary win. Another GOP incumbent, D.R. Jennings will keep the 53d. Incumbent Republican John Hott is unopposed in 54. Fifty-fifth Democrat Delegate Isaac Sponaugle chose to run for attorney general. Jarod Shockey should hold the seat for Dems. Republican Gary Howell is without opposition in 56 as is GOPer Ruth Rowan in the 57th.
In the 58th, Republican incumbent Daryl Cowles lost in the primary. George Miller will hold the GOP seat. Another Republican incumbent, Larry Kump, lost in June. But Ken Reed will keep the 59th seat red. Incumbent Independent Marshall Wilson is running a write-in campaign for Governor. Republican Don Forsht will take the chair in 60.
Incumbent Democrat Jason Barrett will hold the 61st. Incumbent Republican Tom Bibby is stepping aside in 62 for personal reasons. The GOP will keep the seat with Chuck Horst. Incumbent Republican John Hardy will hold 63 as will GOP incumbent Eric Householder in the 64th. Democrat incumbent Sammi Brown keeps 65.
Incumbent Republican Paul Espinosa stays in 66 and Democrat incumbent John Doyle is the winner in the 67th.
That would give Republicans a 59-41 edge in the House.
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Social media photos from Hamlin showed Democrat Sheriff candidate Ollie Hunting within a few feet of early voting with his campaign sign in the bed of his truck.
In my opinion, Hunting was a crooked referee and his political antics are no different. Lincoln County has an honest Republican sheriff. They need to keep Gary Linville.
The reputation Lincoln has for corrupt politics does not need enhancement.
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Meanwhile in Lincoln, Democrat County Commissioner Phoebe Harless has been a breath of fresh air. She deserves another term.
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Although I expect Democrat Delegate Andrew Robinson to defeat Republican Eric Nelson for Kanawha State senate, I congratulate Nelson on one ad that points out the mispronunciation of “Kanawha” in some pro-Robinson spots.
Although Yankee invaders try to make it a three-syllable word, it’s just two to Native Americans and native Kanawha Countians.
It is “Kan-ahhh” definitely not “Kan-owl-wha” or, worse yet, “Kan-ah-wha.”
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The “are we more mature than third-graders” state senate campaign continues up north where a Pleasants County magistrate issued a new warrant for State Senator Mike Maroney.
Maroney, who has been waiting over a year for a trial on solicitation of prostitution charges, added “M.D.” to his campaign yard signs. The magistrate used an ancient, obscure law that says if a doctor uses that acronym, he or she must describe what kind of doctor he or she is. Nobody has ever been prosecuted for violating it.
The warrant was quickly withdrawn.
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No sooner did we correctly report here that Justice administration officials were saying plans for a National Guard installation at the former Hobet Mine property had been abandoned than they shifted gears for the 500th time.
Officials said just days before their latest pronouncement that they had gone back to the drawing board, feeling the.Guard unit would stymie potential economic development. In fact, Justice officials even blamed the Boone County commission for not going forward with the Guard plans. That accusation brought the comment, “they’re lying” from one Boone commissioner.
Now, not only is the Guard project back but the Governor says the $39 million upgrade of the haul road to the property is once again committed.
Tell them anything in an election year, Governor.
Contact Ron Gregory at 304-533-5185 or email@example.com. Hear his political commentary each Monday at 7 a.m. on the Tom Roten Morning Show on NewsRadio800, WVHU, Huntington.