By Sarah Mansheim
West Virginians hit the polls Tuesday, abandoning the party of FDR and turning a purple state red. For the first time since 1958, a Republican was sent to the U.S. Senate. Shelley Moore Capito defeated Natalie Tennant by nearly 20 percent, and now Arch Moore’s daughter is on her way to Washington.
Locally, West Virginians weren’t worried about whether or not a newcomer was a carpetbagging opportunist; they just wanted something different. Nick Rahall was abandoned by the Third District in favor of Evan Jenkins, who left Cabell County specifically to fight Rahall (Jenkins served the Fifth District of Cabell County and part of Wayne). Rahall was defeated by a 7.98 percent margin.
In fact, the only Democrats to win the election in Greenbrier County were incumbent Ron Miller, who defeated Duane Zobrist, for the 10th District, and Robin Yates-Loudermilk, who retained her seat as Greenbrier County Clerk against former Greenbrier County Sheriff James W. “Jim” Childers.
National media had anticipated West Virginia’s switch from blue state to red state in the months leading up to the mid-term elections: the Washington Post, the Huffington Post and Slate.com all published articles last month predicting a sweeping Republican takeover. With the death of Senator Robert C. Byrd in 2010 and Jay Rockefeller’s retirement this year, West Virginia Democrats pushing for a mid-term win faced a strong tide of Republican candidates, and on Tuesday the people spoke, declaring once and for all, the Democratic stronghold in West Virginia has been soundly defeated.
The unofficial Greenbrier County election results are as follows:
Shelley Moore Capito (R), 5,484 votes, 57.77 percent
Natalie Tenant (D), 3,635 votes, 38.29 percent
John S. Buckley (Libertarian), 168 votes, 1.77 percent
Bob Henry Baber (Mtn.), 154 votes, 1.62 percent
Phil Hudok (Constitution), 52 votes, 0.55 percent
U.S. House of Representatives-District 3
Evan Jenkins (R), 4,949 votes, 53.99 percent
Nick J. Rahall II (D), 4,218 votes, 46.01 percent
State Senate-District 10
Ronald F. “Ron” Miller (D), 5,330 votes, 56.62 percent
Duane Zobrist (R), 4,084 votes, 43.38 percent
House of Delegates-District 41
Ray Canterbury (R), 5,317 votes, 31.88 percent
George “Boogie” Ambler (R), 4,785 votes, 28.69 percent
Courtney M. Jesser (D), 3,311 votes, 19.85 percent
Coy A. Flowers (D), 3,267 votes, 19.59 percent
Greenbrier County Commission
Lowell C. Rose (R), 4,925 votes (percentage not available)
Christian M. Giggenbach (D), 3,775 votes (percentage not available)
Karen Lobban (D), write in, 522 votes (percentage not available)
Greenbrier County Clerk
Robin Yates Loudermilk (D), 5,278 votes (percentage not available)
James W. “Jim” Childers (R), 4,087 votes (percentage not available)
Ballot on Constitutional Amendment – Nonprofit Youth Organization Tax Exemption Support Amendment
For: 4,584 (Greenbrier County) (percentage not available); 252,787 (statewide) 61.90 percent
Against: 4,157 (Greenbrier County) (percentage not available); 155,620 (statewide) 38.10 percent